Fact Sheets and Resources

Below are a series of fact sheets on Continuous Bargaining and Workplace Change, including new technologies, changes in work organization/work restructuring programs, and new management policies. Click the title to download it in PDF format; please feel free to read, use and share.

Treat It As Continuous Bargaining

This short fact sheet lays out the basic argument for and approach of continuous bargaining as a way to deal with the changes in technology, work organization and policies that we are all experiencing, and to build the strength of the union at the same time.

Model Workplace Change Contract Language

This fact sheet contains model language on workplace change, designed to give the union more of a voice when management is planning to make changes in technology, work organization or policies.

Work Restructuring and Employee Involvement: Watching Out for the Tricks and Traps

This pamphlet goes into the ways that management uses “joint” programs and involvement programs to control workplace change and to harvest the knowledge of the workforce to put to use for their own purposes.

Avoiding False Security: Analyzing The Limitations of “Protective” Contract Language

Along with involvement programs have come contract language (often proposed by management) which pretends to protect the members and the union. The fact is that much of this language is far from protective. This fact sheet points to some of the more common “protective” clauses and discusses why they don’t provide the protection that they claim.

Representing Your Coworkers: A Guide to Union Participation in Labor-Management Committees

This publication appears here thanks to the generosity of the Maine State Employees Association. Labor-Management Committees can be excellent forums for “continuous bargaining” over issues that are important to Unions and their members. They can also be ineffective forms that do not win beneficial changes or prevent harmful ones. This guide helps Unions develop strategies for having success with L-M committees of all kinds.

Legal Principles Concerning Mid-term Collective Bargaining and Union Representation

This short fact sheet lays out the basic legal rights that unions have to bargain over changes in technology, work organization and policies that impact mandatory subjects of bargaining – wages, hours and conditions of employment.

Draft Code of Conduct for Union Members Involved in Joint Programs

This fact sheet (called a draft because it is my belief that each local union should develop their own code) is designed to provide much-needed guidance for those who are involved in a joint program of any type.

Midterm Changes: The Obligation to Bargain by Bob Schwartz

This chapter from Bob Schwartz’ book The Legal Rights of Union Stewards talks about the rights that we have to bargain during the period of the contract over changes in wages, hours, and conditions of employment.

A Union Guide to Evaluating Workplace Change

This fact sheet is a helpful guide to looking at changes in technology, work organization and policies and figuring out what the impacts will be on issues of importance to the workforce and the union.

Workplace Drug Testing: Employer Has the Duty to Provide Information For Bargaining by Clara Oleson

This article/fact sheet contains over 200 questions that can be used in developing an information request and challenging management’s proposal for a new drug testing program.

Asking the Right Questions

This is a general fact sheet on information requests, a key part of a continuous bargaining strategy. It discusses the importance of information requests and provides a long list of generic questions that can be used in developing an information request for the workplace change you are facing.

Training: A Mandatory and Necessary Subject of Bargaining

Training is too often seen as a universal positive. While we often get short-changed when it comes to training, the fact is that more training is not always better. It is critical that the union carefully examine training programs and bargain over them. This fact sheet lays out many of the problems that can arise with training and suggests bargaining approaches that can improve outcomes and support union strength.

Contract Language on Workplace Change

In this fact sheet you will find principles for developing your own language on workplace change.

Thoughts on Lean/High Performance

This short piece guides Union thinking and action for developing a Union approach to employers’ “lean” and “high performance” programs. It helps Unions keep a perspective that is essential to maintaining Union voice and power.