Exclusive Representation A majority of workers in a bargaining unit must appoint a representative with the exclusive or exclusive right to represent them in negotiations with the employer`s representative (29 U.S.C.A. The employer is not required to negotiate with an unauthorized representative (p. 158). Once a valid representative has been selected, non-unionized workers are also bound by the collective agreement and cannot negotiate individual contracts with the employer (J. I. Case Co. /NLRB, 321 U.S. 332, 64 p. Ct. 576, 88 L Ed. 762 ). Accordingly, the employer should not extend different conditions to workers in the bargaining unit, even if these conditions are more favourable, unless the collective agreement contemplates flexible terms (Emporium Capwell Co. v.
Western Addition Community Organization, 420 U.S. 50, 95 P. Ct. 977, 43 L Ed. 2d 12 ). There are provisions that are recorded in collective agreements that are not regulated by legislation. These issues include travel expenses, vacation bonuses, extra days off (called “pekkasvapaat”) or sick or maternity leave benefits. A unilateral change to a mandatory bargaining topic before the outcome is generally an unfair labour practice, although workers may view the change as beneficial. According to the Supreme Court, unilateral amendments minimize the influence of collective bargaining by giving workers the impression that a union is not necessary to reach an agreement with the employer. For example, in NLRB v.
Katz, 369 U.S. 736, 82 P. Ct. 1107, 8 L Ed. 2d 230 (1962), the employer unilaterally changed its sick leave policy and increased its rates of pay without first negotiating with the union. The Court found that the unilateral change of the employer undermined the union`s bargaining ability on sick leave, wages and other conditions of employment. The compensation system is an integral part of the collective agreement as it defines minimum wages. Read also: The collective agreement means considerable benefits A collective agreement is the ultimate goal of collective bargaining. As a general rule, the agreement defines salaries, hours, promotions, benefits and other conditions of employment, as well as the procedures for dealing with disputes that result from them. Since the collective agreement cannot address all future employment problems, past unwritten customs and practices, external law and informal agreements are just as important to the collective agreement as the written instrument itself.