Fort Lauderdale Attorney on Bargaining Process in Union Contracts

The bargaining process between a union representing the employees and an employer, also known as collective bargaining, consists of negotiations between the two that determine the condition of employment. As an experienced Ft. Lauderdale employment attorney can best explain, this process can take weeks or months to reach an agreement.


The National Labor Relations Board has established criteria for the manner in which the collective bargaining process proceeds. Once the labor union is certified as the official representative of the employees, the union and management have a duty to bargain in good faith. A Ft. Lauderdale employment lawyer emphasizes that this does not mean an agreement must be reached, only that the negotiations be respectful and productive.

Employment Attorney on Good Faith Bargaining

Good faith, in essence, means not establishing any artificial barriers to the bargaining process. Examples cited by a Ft. Lauderdale employment attorney include:

  • Regularly cancelling scheduled meetings;
  • Setting extreme demands knowing full well the other side cannot agree; and
  • Refusing to budge on issues that are close to agreement.

The Process

Collective bargaining involves a series of ongoing proposals, counteroffers and concessions. Each side begins by choosing a team that fully understands the issues on both sides and knows where there may be room for compromise. The most important aspect of the bargaining process is often the attitude of the negotiators. A Ft. Lauderdale employment lawyer can attest to the fact that where each side approaches the process with a problem-solving attitude, much can be accomplished.

Agreement and Ratification

An agreement between the union representatives and the management team is merely a tentative stage. Once achieved, a memorandum of understanding capturing the agreement is presented to the full union for a vote. A Ft. Lauderdale employment attorney cautions that only upon approval, or ratification, is the process complete.

Contact a Ft. Lauderdale Employment Lawyer for Legal Advice

For any question concerning the bargaining process involving union contracts, call Mark J. Berkowitz, P.A., a Ft. Lauderdale employment attorney, at (954) 527-0570.