Good Faith Bargaining

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INTRODUCTION
Collective bargaining is a negotiation process between employers and employees on the terms and conditions of work which form the enterprise agreement (Natalie 2010, p.199). Good faith bargaining on the other hand, generally refers to duty of the parties to meet and negotiate at reasonable time with willingness to reach an agreement on matters within the scope of representation (Riley 2012, pp.22-29). According to Fair Work Act 2009 “To bargain collectively is the performance of the mutual obligation of the employer and the representative of the employees to meet at reasonable times and confer in good faith with respect to wages, hour and other terms and conditions of employment”. GOOD FAITH BARGAINING REQUIREMENTS

The key provisions relating to good faith bargaining obligations under FWA 2009- Section 228(1) mandate bargaining representatives for enterprise agreement to meet the under-listed requirements in order to ascertain that bargaining are done in good faith. * Attend and participate in meetings at reasonable times * Disclose relevant information but not confidential or commercially sensitive information in a timely manner. * Give genuine consideration to the proposals made by other bargaining representatives, and give reason to the responses made to those proposals. * Recognize and bargain with the other bargaining representatives * Refrain from unfair conduct that undermines freedom of association or collective bargaining * Respond to proposals made by other bargaining representatives in a timely manner However, Section 228(2) says that, good faith bargaining requirements do not require a bargaining representative to make concessions during bargaining for the agreement and also to reach agreement on the terms that are to be included in the agreement. The good faith bargaining obligations are given force by ability of the bargaining representative to apply to FWA under Section 229 for bargaining order, in situations where another bargaining representative has not met any of the good faith bargaining requirements of section 228(1). The Good Faith Bargaining obligation will take effect as soon as an employer initiates negotiations for an enterprise agreement, or more likely agree to the union’s request to begin bargaining or when a majority support determination or a low paid authorization is made by FWA. That is, bargaining begins when an employer agrees to bargain for an enterprise agreement with its employees. In a situation where majority of the employees support the making of an agreement, bargaining representative can apply to Fair Work Australia for a determination mandating the employer to bargain. The determination will be approved where it is glaring employees want to bargain, those that constitute majority voters have been fairly chosen, but the employer refused to bargain. Employees and Unions are allowed under Australia law to take a protected industrial action in support of their claims in enterprise agreement negotiations and employer may engage in retaliatory lockout (Crystal 2009, pp.23). However, several routine and substantive requirements must be met before such industrial action is taken and the party seeking to take it has been really trying to reach agreement with the other part, although, they are legally separated but are related requirement to the GFB obligations. While FWA has indicated that the right of employees to take industrial action and employer’s right to retaliatory lockout should not be conflated in practice, similar consideration arise when FWA is determining whether a negotiating party has been genuinely trying to reach agreement and whether a party is bargaining in good faith (Smith 2009). NIGERIA COLLECTIVE BARGAINING

In the same vein, ratification of ILO Convention No. 98 of 1949 on the Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining has given workers the right to join or form trade unions in Nigeria. Nigeria is known for the use of collective...
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