Labour relations negotiations are complex and regulated processes. But if an HR expert can make a strong deal with the union, it demonstrates the importance of HR to the success of the organization. Nathan understands the tremendous knowledge that HR professionals need to negotiate strong labour relations agreements. To negotiate well, HR experts need to have a clear understanding of the financial impact of work-related decisions and how to reach consensus among employees, union representatives and management. The decision sets a new standard favorable for the company to determine when an employer`s actions, taken relying on the provisions of a collective agreement (CBA), constitute a “unilateral change” contrary to the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), said Jonathan Turner, a partner at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp in Los Angeles. The obligation for an employer to bargain under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) implies the obligation to consult in good faith with the employee representative on matters such as wages, working time and other terms and conditions of employment. Among the areas in which a company may be required to provide the union with information for collective bargaining, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has relaxed the standard to determine whether employers in a unionized workplace can make certain changes to workers` working conditions without the need to negotiate with the union. The NLRB`s decision should help employers understand the standard to apply in analyzing their agreements, said Paloma Ahmadi, an attorney at Haynes and Boone in San Antonio, Texas. “However, this is not a pass to change the working and employment conditions of unionized workers and companies need to read their CBAs carefully to see if a proposed measure fits into the granting of rights. To discover the most important ones on the other side, it`s about being ready. “Preparation is critical to a successful negotiation,” says Robert Morehouse, SPHR, who most recently worked as an HR director at ETHICON Inc., a surgical product manufacturer in San Angelo, Texas. Morehouse has negotiated more than 30 employment contracts for former employers. However, if the employment contract does not comply with provisions covering a controversial unilateral amendment, the board of directors will check whether the union has nevertheless waived its right to negotiate the amendment.
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