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Collective bargaining (Section 8(d) & 8(b)(3))

A union must bargain in good faith on behalf of employees it represents, and it is unlawful for a union to fail to do so. Examples of failing to do so include insisting to impasse on a nonmandatory subject of bargaining, or reaching a collective-bargaining agreement with an employer but then refusing to sign it.

Section 8(d) of the Act sets forth what is encompassed within the duty to bargain collectively. Section 8(b)(3) of the Act makes it unlawful for a labor organization or its agents to refuse to bargain collectively with an employer whose employees you represent. For example, you may not

  • Fail to meet with the employer at reasonable times and reasonable intervals.
  • Fail to bargain in good faith concerning mandatory subjects of bargaining.
  • Engage in bad-faith, surface, or piecemeal bargaining.
  • Refuse to furnish information the employer requests that is relevant to the bargaining process. However, you do not have to furnish information in the possession of a union fund unless you are in de facto control of the fund.
  • Condition acceptance of an offer for one bargaining unit on identical offers being made for other units.
  • Insist to impasse on a permissive subject of bargaining, or condition further bargaining on reaching agreement on a permissive subject. However, if the parties mutually agree, you may include a permissive clause in your collective-bargaining agreement. Permissive subjects include, for example, adding supervisors or agricultural workers to a bargaining unit, displaying the union label, or settling unfair labor practice charges.
  • Insist to impasse on an illegal subject of bargaining, or include an illegal clause in a collective-bargaining agreement. Illegal subjects include, for example, closed-shop provisions, hiring-hall provisions granting referral preference for union members, and provisions inconsistent with your duty of fair representation.
  • Refuse to sign a writing that incorporates a collective-bargaining agreement you have reached with the employer.
  • Engage in a strike to pressure an employer to consent to a midterm contract modification.
  • Terminate or modify a collective-bargaining agreement without serving written notice on the employer at least 60 days (90 days if collective bargaining involves employees of a healthcare institution) before the expiration date of the contract.
  • Terminate or modify a collective-bargaining agreement without giving notice to federal and state mediators within 30 days (60 days if collective bargaining involves employees of a healthcare institution) of serving written notice on the employer that you are terminating or modifying the contract.
  • Terminate or modify a collective-bargaining agreement without offering to meet and bargain concerning a new or modified contract.
  • Give at least 30 days’ notice to federal and state mediators of the existence of a dispute, where you are bargaining for an initial collective-bargaining agreement.
  • Change the status quo from the time a board of inquiry is appointed under Section 213 of the Act until 15 days after it issues its report. (Applies within the healthcare industry only.)
  • Engage in a strike before 60 days (90 days if collective bargaining involves employees of a healthcare institution) have passed after you serve written notice on the employer that you are terminating or modifying the contract or before the expiration date of the contract, whichever is later. Failure to comply renders strikers vulnerable to discharge. (Does not apply to unfair labor practice strikes.)
  • Engage in a strike if you are the initiating party of a contract modification or termination, and you fail to give notice to federal and state mediators within 30 days (60 days if collective bargaining involves employees of a healthcare institution) of serving written notice on the employer that you are terminating or modifying the contract. Failure to comply renders strikers vulnerable to discharge. (Does not apply to unfair labor practice strikes.)
  • Engage in any strike, picketing, or other concerted refusal to work by employees of a healthcare institution without having furnished notice, no less than 10 days before such action, to the institution (in writing) and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service of that action. If you are bargaining for an initial agreement, the notice period is no less than 30 days. Failure to comply renders strikers vulnerable to discharge. (Does not apply to unfair labor practice strikes.)

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