Negotiating a strong contract requires a broad range of knowledge and skills. Increasingly these days, this includes a good understanding of the basics of labor law as it relates to bargaining. Employers often seek to have an edge in bargaining by sending lawyers to the table, hoping that they’ll intimidate and outmaneuver the (nonlawyers) on the union bargaining team. Some unions respond by lawyering up and have the attorneys spar. But another option is for the union team to have a firm enough grasp of the fundamentals of labor law so that they can hold their own at the table.
This zoom session will cover the basics of labor law that union negotiators need to know, such as:
* Understanding "good faith bargaining", so that union negotiators can avoid running afoul of the law and can use unfair labor practice charges as a weapon
* How to use the various legal mechanisms -- your jurisdiction’s bargaining law, contract provisions, the Freedom of Information Act and other public records laws, regulatory filings -- to force your employer to furnish information that can be used to back up the union’s proposals and to knock down the employer’s arguments
* Knowing what the “subjects of bargaining” are -- mandatory topics, permissive topics and unlawful topics -- so that you can force the discussion at the table in the direction you want it to go
* Where the lines are drawn between legal and unlawful tactics that can be part of a contract campaign
* Strategizing impasse resolution and the endgame of bargaining -- mediation / factfinding / arbitration, imposition of a “last, best offer”, and strikes and lockouts
The session will cover the basic legal principles that apply in both the public and private sectors.
Michael Mauer has worked as an attorney with the National Labor Relations Board and AFSCME, and as an attorney / negotiator with a number of unions, including serving as Director of Organizing and Services for the American Association of University Professors and Director of Collective Bargaining for SEIU. He has taught at a number of higher ed institutions over the years, including the National Labor College, the University of Illinois, and Ton Duc Thang University in Ho Chi Minh City. His publications include The Union Member’s Complete Guide, Welcome to the Union, and Academic Collective Bargaining.
When: October 21, 2021
Time: 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. (EST)
Includes a copy of The Union Member Complete Guide and Welcome to the Union booklet