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How to Prepare for Collective Negotiations With a Union

Author: Jed L. Marcus, Bressler, Amery & Ross, P.C.

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects the rights of employees to organize and select a union in order to address issues regarding wages, hours, and working conditions. Once a union has been certified as the employees' collective bargaining representative, the employer and union are required to meet and collectively bargain in good faith about various terms and conditions of employment. In order to bargain effectively, an employer must understand its legal obligations under the NLRA and properly prepare for negotiations so that it can obtain an agreement on a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that satisfies its economic and operational needs. Also, an employer should be aware that it or another entity may qualify as a joint employer under the joint employer test and therefore have bargaining obligations as well.

An employer should follow the steps outlined below so that it is prepared for the negotiating process.