Collective Bargaining - UPN Agreements
Canadian labour law is that body of law which regulates the rights, restrictions obligations of trade unions, workers and employers in Canada. Canadian employment law is that body of law which regulates the rights, restrictions obligations of non-unioned workers and employers in Canada.
Both the federal and provincial (or territorial) governments have authority over labour and employment law in Canada. The constitution gives exclusive federal jurisdiction over employment in specific industries, such as banking, radio and TV broadcasting, inland and maritime navigation and shipping, inland fishing, as well as any form of transportation that crosses provincial boundaries. Employment that is not subject to federal jurisdiction is governed by the laws of the province or territory where the employment takes place.
The collective bargaining process is comprised of five core steps:
- Prepare: This phase involves composition of a negotiation team. The negotiation team should consist of representatives of both the parties with adequate knowledge and skills for negotiation. In this phase both the employer's representatives and the union examine their own situation in order to develop the issues that they believe will be most important. The first thing to be done is to determine whether there is actually any reason to negotiate at all. A correct understanding of the main issues to be covered and intimate knowledge of operations, working conditions, production norms and other relevant conditions is required.
- Discuss: Here, the parties decide the ground rules that will guide the negotiations. A process well begun is half done and this is no less true in case of collective bargaining. An environment of mutual trust and understanding is also created so that the collective bargaining agreement would be reached.
- Propose: This phase involves the initial opening statements and the possible options that exist to resolve them. In a word, this phase could be described as 'brainstorming'. The exchange of messages takes place and opinion of both the parties is sought.
- Bargain: negotiations are easy if a problem solving attitude is adopted. This stage comprises the time when 'what ifs' and 'supposals' are set forth and the drafting of agreements take place.
- Settlement: Once the parties are through with the bargaining process, a consensual agreement is reached upon wherein both the parties agree to a common decision regarding the problem or the issue. This stage is described as consisting of effective joint implementation of the agreement through shared visions, strategic planning and negotiated change.
Your collective agreement is a legal contract between UPN members in your workplace and your employer. It outlines wages, benefits and other workplace rights. It's a powerful tool for defending your rights and protecting you from unfair treatment. There are currently two major collective agreements and two component agreements that UPN members and staff have negotiated with employers. To read the full text of these agreements please click the appropriate link on the navigation bar to the left.