How to negotiate terms and conditions with a trade union
Author: Adam Geldman
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- Be aware of the differences between recognition for collective bargaining purposes and that only for consultation.
- Refer to a procedural agreement for the rules governing the conduct of collective bargaining.
- Take account of the statutory arrangements for paid time off for trade union representatives.
- Be aware of the obligation to provide relevant information to trade union representatives prior to conducting negotiations.
- Remember that the aim of collective bargaining is to secure a mutually acceptable agreement.
- Keep lines of communication open with union representatives throughout negotiations.
- Consider establishing a joint management/union working party outside of the formal bargaining arena when complex issues need to be addressed.
- Be aware that union representatives usually have to take an offer back to members before it can be formally agreed.
- Once agreement is reached, communicate changes in writing to all employees.
- Should an agreement not be possible and a dispute declared, carefully weigh up the options, including independent third-party conciliation and/or arbitration.