ADA or Americans with Disabilities Act:
National law forbidding discrimination against employees on the basis of disability and requiring reasonable accommodations for qualified disabled employees. The ADA is enforced by the Equal Opportunities Employment Commission (EEOC) and by private lawsuit.
Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
A civil service appointee of the federal/state agency (PERB, NLRB, PERC, MERA) who conducts unfair labor practice hearings in the region where such cases originate.
Form of arbitration often referred to as fact finding where the decision of the arbitrator is not binding.
A contract provision under which employees who do not join the union are required to pay a collective bargaining service fee instead. This service fee is usually the same as monthly dues.
A form of investment plan usually provided as a retirement plan that provides for income for a specified period of time, such as a number of years or for life.
A method of settling a labor-management dispute by having an impartial third party decide the issue. The decision of the third party (arbitrator) is usually binding.
Reduction in the labor force of a company through natural causes such as voluntary quits, retirement, or death as opposed to layoffs.
A union card filled out by pro-union workers during a representation campaign. The card usually specifies the union as a collective bargaining agent of the employees and must be dated and signed. The federal/state agency will accept 30% of the employees signatures on cards or petitions as the "showing of interest" required to conduct an election. Usually unions will not file for an election unless a majority of the bargaining unit members have signed authorization cards.
The final decision of an arbitrator which is binding on both parties. Advisory arbitration provides that a grievance is advisory subsequent to an employer's decision to reject the arbitrator's decision.
Providing a greater wage increase near the end of a contract.
Union designated by a government agency, such as NLRB, MERA, PERC or PERB or recognized voluntarily by the employer, as the exclusive representative of all employees in the bargaining unit for purposes of collective bargaining.
A group of workers who bargain collectively with the employer. The unit may include all the workers in a single location or in a number of locations, or it may include only the workers in a single craft or department. Final unit is determined by the federal/state agency, or agreed to jointly by the union and the employer.
The straight time rate of pay, excluding premiums and incentive bonuses.
Benefits Cafeteria Plan:
A benefit program that offers a choice between taxable benefits, including cash, and non-taxable health and welfare benefits. The employee decides how his or her benefits dollars are to be used within the total limit of benefit costs agreed to by the employer.
Business Agent (Labor Relations Representative):
A full-time representative of a local union whose job is to represent members in the local.
Compensation to workers who report for work and, for a variety of reasons, the employer decides to send back home. Examples of call in pay include: "show up pay" when a worker is called into work by error for overtime work and is sent back home; or, wages paid when the worker is required to report and there is insufficient work for a full day.
Cease and Desist Order:
An order to stop an action, to not repeat the action, and to take action to undo the wrong. A cease and desist order issued by the federal/state agency is a final order in an unfair labor practice case. It requires the guilty party to stop any conduct found to be in violation of the law and to take positive action to remedy the situation.
A union designated by federal or state labor relations boards as the exclusive bargaining agent of a group of workers.
Written statement of alleged unfair practices. Filing a charge with the federal/state agency is the first step in an unfair improper labor practice proceeding.
The party filing a grievance or an unfair improper labor practice charge.
A contract clause authorizing the employer to deduct union dues from paychecks of those members who so authorize deductions. The employer then transfers the money to the union.
A process which workers, through their bargaining committee, deal as a group to determine wages, hours and other conditions of employment. Normally, the result of collective bargaining is a written contract which covers all workers in the bargaining unit.
The law of a country or state based on custom, usage, and/or the decisions and opinions of a court.
The evaluation of jobs traditionally performed by one group of workers (such as women or minorities) to establish whether or not the worth of those jobs to the employer is comparable to the worth of the jobs traditionally performed by white men and the payment of extra wages to those occupying comparable jobs but receiving less income.
Formal papers issued by a federal/state agency (MERA, PERC, NLRB or PERB) to start an unfair labor practice hearing before administrative Law Judge. The complaint states the basis for the Board's jurisdiction and the hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. The complaint states the basis for the Board's jurisdiction and the
alleged unfair labor practice.
The rights, protected by the Act, of two or more employees to act in concert to form, join, or assist labor organizations in order to affect their wages, hours or work or working conditions.
Consent Election: An election for union representation agreed to by management, employees, and the union. The federal/state agency oversees the election.
A form of discrimination that forces a worker to "quit."
A violation of a law or contract which is continuing in nature and which therefore is not barred by any time limitation, even though the violation began before the time limitation period began.
Equal Opportunities Employment Commission (EEOC):
Federal Government agency which administers most discrimination lawsuits.
Union contract provision for the raising and lowering of wages according to changes in the cost of living index or a similar standard; most commonly referred to as a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA).
Established in the case of "Excelsior Underwear", the list of names and addresses of employees eligible to vote in a union election. It is normally provided by the employer to the union within ten days after the election date has been set or agreed upon at the federal/state agency. The public sector provides for similar rights under similar circumstances.
Exclusive Bargaining Rights:
The right of a union which has been certified by NLRB, MERA, PERB, or PERC to be the only union representing a particular bargaining unit.
An effort to streamline the arbitration hearing by reducing both time and cost. Transcripts and post hearing briefs are usually eliminated. Often the arbitrator issues a decision upon the completion of the hearing or shortly thereafter.
Investigation of labor-management disputes by a board, panel, or individual. A report is issued by the panel describing the issue in dispute, and may make recommendations for a solution.
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA):
The 1938 federal Wage-Hour Law which establishes minimum wage, maximum weekly hours and overtime pay requirements in industries engaged in interstate commerce. The law also prohibited the labor of children under 16 years of age.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA):
Federal law establishing a basic floor of 12 weeks of unpaid family and medical leave in any 12-month period to deal with birth or adoption of a child, to care for an immediate family member with a "serious health condition", or to receive care when the employee is unable to work because of his or her own "serious health condition."
The concentration of wage and benefit increases in the beginning of a contract.
Deductions made by an employer from an employee's wages and rendered to a creditor of the employee.
Good Faith Bargaining:
Negotiations in which two parties meet and confer at reasonable times with open minds and the intention of reaching agreement over a new contract.
A contract provision specifying that employees on the payroll before a specified time will retain certain rights and benefits even though newer employees are not entitled to these rights.
Any type of worker dissatisfaction including violations of the collective bargaining agreement, violations of law, violations of employer policies, violations of fair treatment, and violations of past practices. The definition of a grievance is usually part of the contract, and therefore may vary from one contract to another.
A procedure usually established by a collective bargaining agreement to resolve disputes, problems or misunderstandings associated with the interpretation or application of the collective bargaining agreement. It consists of several steps with the last step of the procedure, usually being arbitration.
A grievance signed by many people in a workplace in order to show management that members as one in their opposition to a management's action.
Illegal Subject of Bargaining:
An issue that neither the employer or employee union can bargain over.
A strike that is called in violation of the law, such as a strike that ignores "cooling off" restrictions, or a strike that disregards a "no strike" agreement signed by the union of imposed by a court of law.
Term often applied to a permanent arbitrator, named for the life of an union contract, and usually selected by mutual agreement. The term indicates his function of presiding over the union contract to enforce observance of it by both parties.
In general usage, a term referring to a situation where two parties cannot h agree on a solution to a dispute. In legal usage, if impasse is reached, the employer is legally permitted to unilaterally impose its latest offer.
Picketing done with the express intent not to cause a work stoppage, but to publicize either the existence of a labor dispute or information concerning the dispute. Picketing done with the express intent not to cause a work stoppage but to publicize either the existence of a labor dispute or information concerning the dispute.
A court order which either imposes restraints upon action, or directs that a specific action be taken and which is, in either case, backed by the courts power to hold disobedient parties in contempt.
Leave taken in separate periods of time due to a single illness or injury. This is permitted under the FMLA.
A concerted activity by employees designed to put pressure on the employer without resorting to a strike. Examples include: wearing T-shirts, buttons, or hats with union slogans, holding parking lot meetings, collective refusal of voluntary overtime, reporting to work in a group, petition signing, jamming phone lines, etc.
Joint Committee or Panel:
A committee of equal numbers of union and management representatives established by a contract to hear grievances arising under the contract. If a committee is deadlocked on a grievance, the matter may be referred to a higher committee, to an arbitrator, or the employer and the union may be permitted economic recourse, depending on the wording of the contract.
A reason an employer must give for any disciplinary action it takes against an employee. An employer must show just cause only if a contract requires it. Most contracts have just cause requirements which place the burden of proof for just cause on the employer.
To carry on a legal contest by a judicial process. For example, the employer will often go to the courts (litigate) to appeal a decision by MERA, PERB, NLRB or PERC.
A catchall phrase used in grievance and other legal action where a remedy is sought from an employer. Often used in discharge and discipline cases where the union seeks to have a worker who had been wrongly discharged or disciplined returned to work and reimbursed all wages, benefits, or other conditions lost due to an employer's unjustified action.
Management Rights or Prerogatives:
The claimed rights of employers to control operational aspects of the workplace.
Mandatory Subject of Bargaining:
Those items included under wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment over which an employer must bargain. An employer may not make a change in a mandatory bargaining subject without providing prior notice to the union and an opportunity to bargain.
(Conciliation) The efforts of a third party to help parties to reach agreement in a labor dispute. Mediators help clarify issues and suggest possible solutions.
Member in Good Standing:
A union member in good standing is one who has fulfilled requirements for the organization and who has not voluntarily withdrawn from membership, been expelled, or suspended.
Increase in wages given to one employee by the employer to reward good performance. Unions often oppose merit increases because of a general lack of objective criteria for awarding increases, and thus allowing favoritism to enter into the decision to award the increase.
See Voluntary Subject of Bargaining.
Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA):
The Law which authorizes the OSHA agency to set standards, obligates employers to provide a safe workplace, and provides for enforcement of the standards. The law encourages the states to develop their own safety laws which displace the federal law.
A customary way of doing things not written into the collective bargaining agreement. Past practices can sometimes be enforced through the grievance procedure if the practice has been longstanding, consistent, and accepted by the parties.
Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC):
A Federal Corporation which guarantees that vested participants in private pension plans will receive some pension benefit even if a pension plan becomes bankrupt.
Permissive Subject of Bargaining:
See Voluntary Subject of Bargaining.
An extra amount over straight time rates, sometimes a flat sum, sometimes a percentage of the wage rates, paid to workers to compensate them for inconvenient hours, overtime, hazardous, or unpleasant conditions, or other undesirable circumstances.
Prior Rights Clause
A clause which protects the bargaining units’ rights, benefits and practices that are not specifically mentioned in the collective bargaining agreement
Quality of Work-life Programs:
See Team Concept Plans.
Rank and File:
The members of a union.
Formal approval of a newly negotiated agreement by vote of the union members affected.
Employer acceptance of a union as the exclusive bargaining representative for all employees in the bargaining unit.
A method of targeting certain job classifications for special treatment in wage negotiating, with both good and bad results possible.
Clause in a collective bargaining agreement providing for reopening negotiations on wage rates, etc., during the term of the agreement.
Showing of Interest:
A requirement by MERA, PERB, and PERC that must be met by a union when a union wishes to represent a group of employees. There are several showing of interest requirements used by these agencies. A) A petitioning union needs 30% of the eligible members in the union. B) Where a union has petitioned and another union wishes to intervene, the second union must have 30% of the unit it seeks. C) Where a union petitions and another union wishes to intervene in the same unit to the extent of blocking a consent election agreement, it must have 10%. D) Usually, a showing of one or two cards is enough for a second union to intervene only to have their name on the ballot or to participate in a hearing. E) A current or recently expired contract is also a criterion for showing of interest.
Any form of shift work where there are semi-regular work hours. In some cases, workers may work three different shifts in a work week. In all the various types of shifts, there is usually a break of several hours between the reporting times of the workers.
A group of volunteer members who have agreed to help picket or leaflet in support of an organizing drive, strike, or other campaign which the local has initiated.
(Contracting Out) An employer's practice of having work performed by an outside contractor and not by regular employees in the unit.
An employer which has acquired an already existing operation and which continues those operations in approximately the same manner as the previous employer, including the use of the previous employer's employees.
Any change an employer makes without the union's consent. The subject of unilateral change is ever changing due to Board and Court Rulings. However, unilateral change falls into 3 categories; unilateral change before a first time contract, during bargaining, and during the contract's terms. The Board recognizes that an employer must bargain all changes in regards to hours of work, rate of pay, and other conditions of employment with the employee's bargaining representatives. Generally, these changes must be bargained to impasse before a change is implemented.
A professional consultant or consulting firm which provides tactics and strategies for employers trying to prevent unionization or decertify unions.
Union Label or Bug:
A stamp or tag on a product or card in a store or shop to show that the work is done by union labor. The "bug" is the printer's symbol.
Union Security Clause:
A provision in a collective bargaining agreement designed to protect the institutional life of the union, such as union ship and union dues check-off clauses.
Form of union security provided in the collective bargaining agreement which requires employees to belong to or pay dues to the union as a condition of retaining employment. It is illegal to have a closed shop which requires workers to be union members before they are hired. The union shop is l e gal, except in so called right-to-work states, because it requires workers to join the union or pay dues within a certain time period after they are hired.
The amount of time that an employee must work to guarantee that his/her accrued pension benefits will not be forfeited even if employment is terminated.
Voluntary Subject of Bargaining:
Subjects of bargaining other than those considered to be mandatory (see mandatory subject of bargaining). Either party may propose discussion of such a subject, and the other party may voluntarily bargain on it. Neither party may insist to the point of impasse on the inclusion of a voluntary subject in a contract. For example, the employer may not legally insist on bargaining over the method of selecting stewards or the method of taking a strike vote.
The rights of employees covered by NLRB, MERA and PERC to request union representation during investigatory interviews if they reasonably believe that the interview could result in their being disciplined. Weingarten rights also guarantee the rights of union representatives to assist and counsel employees during interviews which could lead to discipline. New York has rights similar to Weingarten.
A tactic in which workers agree to strictly follow all work rules, even those which are usually not followed. The result is that less work is performed or that the employer is forced to deal with more paperwork, putting pressure on the employer to settle workers' complaints. Some, but not all, work-to-rule campaigns are considered slowdowns, and may violate no-strike clauses in particular contracts or public sector laws.
A standard contract clause which precludes any renegotiation of conditions covered in the contract during the life of the contract. It is designed to prevent the employer from trying to change the contract before the next round of bargaining.
© Copyright 2007, UPSEU. This information may not be republished without express consent.