Should employers recognize a union if the collective agreement unit is not established in the United Kingdom? The High Court recently ruled that if the link with Britain was “strong enough,” British trade union law would apply. The most common opportunity for a union to obtain recognition of collective bargaining is for the employer to simply agree to recognize them voluntarily. Formal written agreements of this kind – known as “procedural agreements” – avoid misunderstandings and achieve continuity and coherence. In the decency of relationships, parties can review and update their procedural agreements at regular intervals. The Employment Relations Agency (LRA) can facilitate meetings to help parties develop procedural and recognition agreements. The ensuing bargaining process is called collective bargaining, with the group of workers representing the union being called the bargaining unit. The LRA can also provide impartial information on collective agreements. See LRA guidelines on collective bargaining. Although recognition requires both parties to negotiate in good faith, it does not require agreement and does not give the union a veto over any employer proposal. In the end, recognition is as strong as membership and union organization at your school or university, i.e.
the number, commitment and collective activity of the members themselves. On the other hand, the lack of union recognition does not necessarily mean that the influence of trade unions is zero. Indeed, many independent schools that do not recognize THE NEW have useful consultation with staff and grant NEU representatives many of the legal rights that would entitle them to recognition. The union must ask you to recognize them voluntarily – if you accept the application, the union will be recognized. As an employer, there is nothing to prevent you from voluntarily consenting to the recognition of one or more unions. Once an employer recognizes a union for the first time, both parties will generally develop an agreement defining how the recognition agreement and the related bargaining processes work. When an employer agrees to recognize a union, the employer has certain legal obligations to the union and its members – see the consequences of union recognition. About one-fifth of the disputes Acas faces each year relate to union recognition. But there is no need for an argument for Acas to help. It can provide confidential information and advice on union recognition and many other industrial relations issues and help employers, workers and unions work together to achieve the best results.