Section 8, point (d) of the Act defines what is the obligation to bargain collectively. Section 8 (a) (5) of the Act makes it an unfair labour practice for an employer to “refuse collective bargaining with the representatives of its workers, subject to the provisions of paragraph 9 (a) of the Act. (An employer who opposes Section 8 (a) (5) is also contrary to Section 8 (a) (1).) For example, you can not take the first step in this situation is to keep talking! Discuss with your employer and the union the reason for the proposed changes. Explain how this affects you, what other options you might look at and what might happen if you don`t reach an agreement. Previously, the Commission had decided that the corresponding collective agreement should give the employer “clear and unequivocal” authorization to unilaterally change a duration or condition of employment. Provena St. Joseph Medical Center, 350 NLRB 808 (2007). Under Provena Saint-Joseph, without “clear and unique” authorization, employers were required to negotiate with the union before changing negotiated terms or terms of employment. Unions are better able to protect wages and other conditions, as they can count on strong figures, with the ability to subject their negotiating position to the threat of union action. This helps to compensate for the unequal bargaining power in the working relationship. On the other hand, individual workers generally do not have the power to oppose lower wages, especially in a market where other quality jobs are difficult to find.
A union may agree to amend the contract on behalf of a worker (or group of workers) if it is written in the employment contract that the union may agree to changes (a “collective agreement”). A collective agreement can only be applied if it is included in the “integrated” employment contract. If this is correct, the changes are mandatory and the employee is subject to the new conditions (although our comments are shown below: a staff member may challenge a contract amendment if he or she believes the clause may be discriminatory). While the Union may not be able to strike in the middle of the treaty, members can nevertheless take concerted action. They can take steps to ensure management knows how they feel and remind the boss that future relationships will suffer if the employer tries to make changes without negotiating. Concerted action must not be contrary to the treaty. EU members have always been inventive in demonstrating their aversion to employer policy. Before taking action, contact an EU Field agency. In the same way that members act during contract negotiations, they should be prepared to intervene during the negotiation process. An employer who tries to negotiate directly with workers to encourage them to waive their collectively agreed terms is likely to violate this section.
Get advice from your union as soon as possible, especially if your transfers of positions under TUPE and your new employer make reductions or changes to your collectively agreed terms or try to waive the collective agreement. Employers have a legal obligation to negotiate in good faith with their workers` representatives and to sign any collective agreement. There are many obligations to this obligation, including the obligation not to make certain changes without negotiating with the union and not to bypass the union and to deal directly with the workers it represents.