The Union What are unions trying to achieve? Increase wages and fringe benefits Clarify and reduce duties and work hours Protect those currently working in bargaining unit Limit, or gain input, into management’s decision making process as it relates to the bargaining unit Maintain and grow membership What is the union’s role? Address divergent pressures from rank and file Gain influence for state organization and use it to steer legislation “Rally the troops”
Management What is management trying to achieve? Hold down or reduce costs Improve work product Increase flexibility of operations and ability to use unilateral discretion in decision-making Ability to maintain or grow itself and the operation as it sees fit Who is included in “management?” Board of Education Superintendent Executive Administrators – including HR executive and/or Chief Bargainer
Management Roles of management: Board of Education Establish mission, goals, policies, procedures, and parameters under which to operate the District Superintendent Carry out the District’s mission and goals Deal with community politics Supervise staff (especially executive staff) Resolve conflict Executive Administrators Help develop issues, carry out the District’s mission, and support management team
Management Roles of management Chief Negotiator Lead negotiating team (at and away from the table) Represent the Board of Education Prepare proposals Keep Superintendent, Board of Education, and other necessary parties informed of progress Recommend contract terms, settlements, and agreements to the Board of Education
Evaluate existing contract, policies, and procedures Review finances Look over grievances and arbitration decisions Review recent court decisions or changes in statutes (NOW MORE THAN EVER!) Analyze internal and external data on salaries, benefits, etc. Review previous proposals or bargaining processes Maintain and review file on problematic CBA provisions
Round 1 – Opening Presentation of Proposals Ground Rules Need not agree to ground rules, but if agreed to, they must be followed Exchange necessary information, initial proposals, and rationales (discuss necessary goals) Posturing – sizing each other up
Middle Phase Parties look for areas of agreement Areas of disagreement/priority become apparent Pre-Crisis (Deadline) Stage: Economics Take Priority Management position becomes firmer on “no” Union initiates pressure tactics. Parties begin to come toward center Sidebars become more prevalent and informal proposals introduced
Final Rounds – Tentative Agreement or Impasse Impasse breaking tools – mediation and fact finding “Work to rule” may occur Strike a possibility (although illegal)
Traditional Adversarial in nature Quid pro quo Pressure tactics Use of time crunch Chief negotiator and bargaining team roles Use of caucuses Collaborative Interest-Based (integrative bargaining, win-win bargaining) – parties collaborate for win-win Expedited– restrict time and issues on the table Progressive – “full disclosure” bargaining – early start, talk through each issue, early mediation/fact finding
Unit decided on by the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC) Individuals in unit must share a “community of interest” Parties may seek “unit clarification” to add or remove positions from bargaining unit once the unit has been established.
Teacher/Professional Unit Usual players – MEA or MFT Separate from “non-professionals” Generally includes non-certificated positions such as: Guidance counselors Media specialists Occupational or Physical therapists Social workers and psychologists Speech pathologists Nurses Still community of interest?
“Non-Professional” staff (non-certified, support, etc) Usual players – MEA, AFSCME, UAW, Teamsters, etc. “Largest appropriate unit” Cannot include supervisors Generally includes: Bus drivers Custodians/Maintenance Food service Parapros/aides/hall or lunch monitors Secretaries
Administrative Unit Usual players – MEA, but more often this will be an “independent” group Again, must be separate from those they supervise Generally includes: Principals and Aps Directors (i.e., special ed director, athletic director, etc.)
Who is excluded? Superintendent Executive Administrators Confidential secretaries
Must bargain in good faith with regard to wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment – section 15 of PERA Mutual obligation of employer and union Must bargain in good faith Bargaining must agree to bargain over wages, hours and working conditions (mandatory subjects) Employer may not unilateral alter such mandatory subjects – unless and until impasse
MERC has described as the point where the positions of both parties have solidified to the point where further bargaining is futile MERC decides impasse – based on totality of the circumstances Employer may implement last best offer on subject of impasse Does not end duty to bargain, merely requirement to maintain status quo
Mandatory subjects: Must bargain and may take to impasse Wages, hours, and working conditions Examples: Wages, COLA Benefits – insurance, vacations, holiday pay, etc. Grievance procedure Work rules School Calendar (Expedited impasse, Modifications by statute) Class Size, conferences/planning time, and length of day Duration of agreement
Permissive subjects May bargain but cannot take to impasse Management decisions fundamental to operation of enterprise Examples Rate of pay for non-unit substitutes Seniority for those formerly in unit Curriculum or educational policy decisions Bargaining ground rules (again, if bargained you must live by them)
Prohibited Subjects Those listed in section 15 of PERA (MCL 423.215) Examples 1249 evaluation system 1248 policy regarding personnel decisions Teacher placement Experimental or pilot programs Contracting for non-instructional support (must give union chance to bid) Illegal Subjects Those that would require violation of statutes Examples Waiver of overtime or minimum wage (FLSA) Union Shop (RTW) Discriminatory clauses Waiver of tenure
Violations of section 10 of the PERA Interfering with, restraining, or coercing public employees in the exercise of their protected rights (which now includes not only to organize, but also to not be associated with the union) Initiating, creating, dominating, contributing to, or interfering with a labor organization (automatic dues deduction - current injunction) Discriminating on hiring or terms or conditions of employment based on protected activity Refusal to bargain in good faith (regressive bargaining, repudiation of the contract, direct dealing, etc.)
Union unfair labor practices Refuse to bargain in good faith Restrain or coerce a public employer in the selection of its representatives for the purposes of collective bargaining or the adjustment of grievances. Cause or attempt to cause a public employer to discriminate against a public employee.
Charges have a statute of limitation of 6 months Decided by the MERC First heard by an administrative law judge Appealed to the full commission (MERC) 3 member panel Given jurisdiction over the PERA
PA 112 was a 1994 amendment to the PERA Its main purpose was to eliminate strikes, but made other changes as well Strikes were illegal prior to PA 112, but still common To prevent strikes: Definition amended to include work stoppages done to protest real or perceived unfair labor practices Fines for each strike day for employee and union Management rights provision “A public school employer has the responsibility, authority, and right to manage and direct on behalf of the public the operations and activities of the public schools under its control.”
Added list of prohibited subjects of bargaining to the PERA Incorporated into section 15, and includes: Who is the policyholder of employee insurance plan (MESSA) Decision to allow inter or intra district open enrollment Contracting out of noninstructional support Decision, staffing, or impact of experimental or pilot programs or use of technology in instruction Several more have been added since PA 112 Know these prohibits subjects and use them. They are your friends!
Public Act 349 of 2012 – effective March 28, 2013 Makes it unlawful for anyone to: Compel anyone (through force, threats, or coercion) to join a labor union, financially support a labor union. Makes it unlawful for an employer to: Discriminate against an employee based on, or make a condition of employment, the support or membership in a labor union.
MEA – dominated by full-time staff hired by the central organization Uniserv Directors – Assigned by the MEA to regional areas to handle labor relations within their member districts Regional Directors – Cover larger area and supervise Uniserv Directors. Report directly to executive director MFT – Locally elected model Local leaders tend to determine goals and do bargaining. Staff reps only called in when needed Tends to end up in more reasonable process
Collective Bargaining To meet and confer over terms and conditions of employment Fact-Finding Non-binding impasse breaking tool where an independent fact finder hears both sides and recommends a solution Grievance Arbitration Binding process by where a grievance (generally defined as an alleged violation of the contract) is brought before an independent 3 rd party to determine who is correct
Impasse As previously noted, is the point where the positions of both parties have solidified to the point where further bargaining is futile Interest Arbitration Similar to fact finding, but binding In Michigan it is part of the law for Police and Fire (Act 312 Arbitration), but not school districts Mediation Non-binding process whereby an independent third party is brought into negotiations to help to resolve issues and ease an agreement