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Tip Tuesday: What Characterizes the Interest-Based Bargaining Process?

Interest-based bargaining comes in many forms with different names, such as "win-win" bargaining, mutual gains, principles, and interest-based negotiation. The basic goal is to reach an agreement that recognizes and satisfies the needs of both labor and management. It is characterized by a process that...​

Tip Tuesday: What Attributes Make Up an Effective Negotiating Team Member?

What does it take to be a good negotiating committee member?  To be successful, employers should recognize that each committee member brings a certain level of experience and expertise to the team, and that type of knowledge and experience is needed from all negotiating team members. It is also important to distinguish between those individuals who are actively involved at the table versus the individuals working behind the scenes who set the bargaining objectives. What attributes should negotiating team members have?

Tip Tuesday: What Event(s) Constitute Force Majeure?

COVID-19 erupted in the United States without much warning. It is a classic case of what companies call a force majeure event, meaning an unforeseeable circumstance beyond the control of the company.  How do you determine if an event(s) constitutes force majeure?

Tip Tuesday: 6 Key Components of Effective Contract Administration

Once negotiations have concluded and an agreement is in place, both parties must work together on an on-going basis to implement the provisions of the contract. This includes a willingness of both sides to work together and solve problems that may arise. To effectively administer a labor contract, employers need to:

1. Print and distribute the contract to the union and management

2. Train the affected constituencies regarding the provisions and changes in the contract and review issues associated with administering contract provisions 

Tip Tuesday:10 Contract Costs That Can Be Overlooked

​When costing out contract costs, it is easy to think of the big cost items—pay, vacation, sick, retirement, and insurance. While these items make up the majority of labor costs, there are other contract costs that shouldn’t be ignored. Here’s a list of some of the other common areas that companies may not stress enough in labor costing:​

1. Number of days off in a week or month 

2. Scheduled work hours that either include or exclude a paid meal period 

3. Monthly, annual, and maximum sick leave banks 

4. Credit time for shift work when an employee is idle 

Tip Tuesday: 10 Key Points for Management When Developing Proposals

Contract proposals have legal, economic, operational, logistical and administrative impacts. A negotiating team should consider the following key points when developing proposals: ​

1. What are your overall objectives in negotiations? 

2. What is the purpose of each proposal?

3. What problems are you trying to solve? 

4. What is required to implement each proposal? 

5. What will the proposal mean to various stakeholders?

6. Is the proposal consistent with the organization’s strategic plan/policies? 

7. What is the total cost of the proposal? 

Tip Tuesday: 5 Tips When Negotiating a "Me Too" Clause

When bargaining with multiple units at the same company, a commonly negotiated clause is called a “Me Too” provision. A basic definition of the "Me Too" clause is when a company negotiates something(s) of value greater than what another union has already settled for, the unions who have already settled will automatically get the greater value of the present contract with the other union(s).

When negotiating a “Me Too” clause, beware of the following:

1. Make sure your “Me Too” clause is well defined, so that unions understand what is and is not covered in the clause 

Tip Tuesday: 11 Key Steps of an FMLA Assessment

Organizations often hire us to conduct an FMLA assessment so that they understand what areas of their FMLA process need improvement. During this assessment, we evaluate an organization’s FMLA policies, practices, and processes to determine whether they are adequate, legal and effective. Are you thinking about conducting an FMLA Assessment? Don’t forget these key steps:

1. Select a team

2. Determine the scope

3. Decide on a timetable

4. Develop a list of questions for HR personnel and supervisors

5. Collect all relevant documents

6. Develop a roadmap

Tip Tuesday: Methods for Resolving an Impasse in Negotiations

If an impasse is reached in negotiations, several scenarios may be pursued. Strikes are one mechanism unions may use for dealing with an impasse, however, there are other, more productive methods for resolving impasses:

The main tools/procedures available for resolving an impasse include:

Tip Tuesday: Reviewing Your FMLA Checklist

Employers need to periodically review their Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) process to ensure they are complying with the latest U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) regulations.

Below is an FMLA Checklist that organizations should consider when reviewing their policies: