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Collective Bargaining and industrial action

There are strict laws prescribing employer and employee responsibilities in relation to bargaining for a collective agreement. For example, all the parties involved in a bargaining process must operate in accordance with the principles of good faith which underpin the Employment Relations Act 2000. Employers and unions must conclude a collective agreement unless there is a genuine reason based on reasonable grounds not to do so.

We provide:

  • Advice about how employees can join a union and which union to join
  • Advice about collective bargaining processes
  • Advice about single party and multi-party bargaining
  • Advice about what must be in a collective agreement
  • Mediation services during negotiation
  • Advice about the requirements to be fulfilled by the union or employee after an agreement has been ratified

Sometimes when a collective agreement is being negotiated or after it has been ratified, employers and unions disagree on the terms. This may lead to employees striking or engaging in other forms of industrial action. We provide advice and support on employees and union’s rights and obligations in these situations. There are several things employees must be aware of when engaging in industrial action, for example the rules around whether a strike is lawful, and the procedures relating to strikes and other forms of industrial action, such as fulfilling the relevant notice periods for strikes in essential services.

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