IDRL 305 Discussion 2
When the employer is said to be a reluctant party in collective bargaining, it refers to management having little incentive to bargain. Employers have a distinctive view towards labour management compared to unions, and are often reluctant to participate in the collective bargaining process.
Collective bargaining decisions are made based on various factors. When making such decisions, each side will consider who has more to gain should collective bargaining take place. In the event collective bargaining does not take place, who will be in the better position should the status quo remain? The bottom line is that there needs to be a balance of power between the employer and the employees to ensure conflicts are solved.
A common view is that employers are of the opinion that unions are infringing on their management rights and authority. The union imposes restrictions on employee promotions, how work is to be completed, how the work is categorized, and who does the work. However, the doctrine of residual rights specifies that everything that has not been explicitly included within the collective agreement remains under management’s exclusive authority. If any of the above items are not a part of the collective bargaining process, the employer remains in the better position should the status quo continue. The only limits placed on managerial authority are the limits that management has agreed to during the process of collective bargaining. As an example, it would be at the employer’s discretion to have employees wear a “rainbow wig and red shoes” if a dress code has not been written into the collective agreement and laws have not been violated.
Godard refers to alternatives to replace the doctrine of residual rights, all with lingering impositions towards restricting management rights and