MG420 DL Labor Relations
1. Define the term “collective bargaining” and list and describe four issues that are mandatory components of a collective bargaining agreement. Collective bargaining is the process of negotiations involving the representatives of the employer and employee for terms and conditions of employment that will apply to the employee. In the United States the negotiations that happen between concerning parties are written into legally binding contracts and usually last from one to five years (Budd, 2013). A recent article in the Inside Counsel Business Insights for Law Department Leaders, written by Ruthie Goodboe, (http://www.insidecounsel.com/2013/07/01/labor-collective-bargaining-and-the-affordable-car) writes about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and how the collective bargaining maybe a challenge for employers. She states that employers and unions are both facing a precedent change mandating healthcare coverage to employees. If employers fail to provide the minimum healthcare coverage they will face fines. She also states that perhaps the best approach for both employers and unions is to have a greater understanding of the definitions under this new agreement. She also explains, that collective bargaining under this new paradigm will be challenging, but by understanding the fundamentals of health coverage after 2013 and appreciating concerns bargaining representatives may also have about the ACA, employers should be equipped to negotiate collective bargaining agreements that not only comply with the ACA, but also serve the organization’s business interests (Goodboe, 2013) She states in her article that there are things to consider for an employer to meet the upcoming requirements of the ACA mandate. She explains that they need to carefully understand the ACA in its entirety in order to be able to not only safeguard but use any opportunities open to them to negotiate. Also, she explains that they need to understand the contract language in order to comply with the upcoming mandate of the ACA. This article clearly demonstrates a new precedent for collective bargaining action with the ACA for employers and unions that clearly need to be understood. Four issues that are potential components of a collective bargaining agreement are: 1. Compensation - wages, benefits, fringe benefits, vacations and holidays, shift premiums, and profit sharing, 2. Personnel Policies and Procedures - layoffs, promotion, and transfer policies, overtime and vacation rules, 3. Employee Rights and Responsibilities - seniority rights, job standards, and workplace rules, and 4. Employer Rights and Responsibilities - management rights, discipline and discharge, subcontracting, and safety standards (Budd, 2013). Employer rights and responsibilities is a component of collective bargaining that was illustrated in an article by Helene Elliott (http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jan/07/sports/la-sp-elliott-nhl-20130107). This article clearly demonstrates how the National Hockey League (NHL) Players’ Association and the league had a tentative new collective bargaining agreement between the two regarding the contracts of players. The union didn't want the new labor deal to last 10 years (with an opt-out clause after eight), but sanity prevailed when both sides realized they needed long-term stability. The NHL got players to go from 57 percent of hockey-related revenue last season to a more realistic 50-50 split, a key triumph (Elliott, 2013). As a result, both sides realized they had to compromise. The Players were awarded the offer that was submitted to gain a solid pension plan. Included was a provision in the year to year value of contracts were no more than 35 percent variance could result. Included in this provision was that the contract agreement was not allowed to go below 50 percent than the...
Cited: Budd, John. W. Labor Relations: Striking a Balance. 4th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2013.
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