Colorado Technical University
September 9, 2012
Negotiation The NLRB, which stands for the National Labor Relations Board, is an federal agency that was created by Congress to administer the National Labor Relations Act. This Act was put into place to govern the working relationships between unions and employees in what is known as the private sector. A private sector refers to organizations that are not run by the state. This Act protects employees from being discriminated against by the employer and the union. In other words, it guarantees the rights of employees to organize and bargain collectively with their employees (Heathfield, 2012). It also helps to protects employees when they want to improve their wages and working conditions, regardless of whether they have a union or not. Examples of employees rights are employees can form or attempt to form a union in the workplace, employees can join an unrecognizable union, employees can assist a union in the organization process, employees have the right to be represented by a union, and employees can refuse to do any of these fore-mentioned examples that fall under employee rights under the NLRB (NRLB, 2012). In essence, the NLRB governs the NLRA. Under this Act, the employer cannot interfere, restrain or coerce employees in exercising their rights to organize, form, join or assist with the union for collective bargaining (NLRB, 2012). Employers are limited as to what they can communicate to the employee about when it comes to collective bargaining. Employers can have discussions about the union with the employees, like if they feel that a union would not be in the employee’s best interest. But this type of discussion should be conducted in an informational format only, due to the Act considering it a violation to try to coerce the employee into doing something. Employers have the right to keep union representatives out of the workplace and can also forbid any union business to be conducted doing working hours. Employees still have the right to meet with a union during their break times. Employees can be restricted to not do any business if it relates to the union during production hours. Even with the use of emails, because emails are considered company property, employers have the right to inform the union that they cannot email the employee to their work email address. Even faxes received are still the property of the organization. If an employee determines that they want to file a grievance, there is a process that they have to follow, if they are represented by a union. With a grievance, there are always going to be strict timeframes involved that must be adhered to once a grievance has been filed. A typical process for addressing grievances is for the union representative to present the grievance to a member of management. The member of management has 14 days to make a decision on how they want to proceed. If no decision has been made during this timeframe, within 3 days, the employee and the union representative can then proceed to present the grievance to the head of the department in writing which should include the employee’s name. It’s important that the union representative be knowledgeable about the members in management so that the grievance is not presented to the wrong person. If no settlement has been made during this timeframe, within 5 days, the employee, the union representative can then proceed to present the grievance to the human resources director.
During this timeframe, there is no other action for the union representative to do because this is the timeframe that the director will schedule a meeting within the 14 day timeframe. The purpose of the meeting will be to meet to resolve the grievance. Once a meeting is scheduled, it should be communicated in writing indicating the day/time of the scheduled meeting. At this time, if the grievance was unable to