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    Labor Terms

    COMMON LABOR RELATIONS TERMS

    Agent – A person acting for an employer or a
    union. Acts of the agent implicate the principal for whom the agent acts in
    matters of unfair labor practices or of conduct subject to court action whether
    or not specifically authorized or approved.

    Arbitrator – Neutral, independent, outside authority designated to
    hear unresolved contract grievance disputes.

    Arbitration – An out-of-court legal proceeding for resolving
    disputes using one or more neutral third parties called the Arbitrator or
    Arbitration Panel. Arbitration uses rules of evidence and procedures that are
    less formal than those followed in trial courts, which usually leads to a
    faster, less expensive resolution. Binding Arbitration is similar to a court
    proceeding in that the Arbitrator has the power to impose a decision, although
    this is sometimes limited by agreement. For example, in “hi-lo Arbitration” the
    parties may agree in advance to a maximum and minimum award. Alternate
    definition – Dispute resolution proceedings in which the nature of the agreement
    between the parties obligates them to the Arbitrator’s decision. Final step in
    the Collective Bargaining Agreement grievance procedure allowing the parties to
    submit unresolved grievances arising from a violation or interpretation of the
    Collective Bargaining Agreement to an Arbitrator. See also; Binding Arbitration,
    Interest Arbitration.

    Bad-faith Bargaining – Under Labor Relations Board statutes an
    employer or the FOP may be deemed to commit an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) by
    refusing to discuss or bargain over issues deemed to be mandatory matters for
    discussion or other matters as listed within the law.

    Bargaining Committee – Individuals elected or appointed by the
    Lodge to meet with Management and negotiate/bargain a Collective Bargaining
    Agreement on behalf of the Lodge Bargaining Unit.

    Bargaining Representative/Agent– A Labor Organization, like the
    FOP, certified by the Board/Commission to represent a Bargaining Unit of
    employees for the purpose of Collective Bargaining.

    Bargaining Unit – A group of employees eligible for Collective
    Bargaining based upon a unit determination process required by the
    Board/Commission which sets forth the positions and/or classifications that will
    be represented by the FOP in the Collective Bargaining process.

    Binding Arbitration – An Arbitration proceeding (see Arbitration)
    in which the Arbitrator’s award is final and is imposed on the parties as a
    matter of law. Such Awards are usually only subject to appeal in the event of
    fraud by the Arbitrator or collusion between the Arbitrator and one of the
    parties. In non-binding Arbitration, the Arbitrator can recommend but not impose
    an advisory decision..

    Caucus– A negotiating procedure used by both the FOP and
    Management Bargaining Committees where the entire Bargaining Team leaves the
    negotiating table to confer away from the opposing side for a period of time
    agreed upon by both sides in order to discuss issues, proposals,
    counterproposals, or strategies, after which the teams return to the bargaining
    table.

    Certification– The final order of the Board/Commission granting
    legal authority, certification, and recognition to a labor organization to
    become the exclusive bargaining representative of a Bargaining Unit of employees
    for Collective Bargaining after an election or voluntary recognition proceeding.

    Collective Bargaining– A process, usually defined by law, by which
    employees represented by the FOP meet with their employer to negotiate hours,
    wages, and terms and conditions of employment with the purpose of obtaining an
    employment contract known as a Collective Bargaining Agreement.

    Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)– The written final contract
    agreed to and signed by the FOP and Management setting forth all matters
    discussed and agreed to during Collective Bargaining.

    Contract Ratification– The process by which the FOP and Management
    Bargaining Committees or Teams present a Tentative Agreement reached in
    Collective Bargaining. The FOP Team is required to present all changes and
    information in the Tentative Agreement to the FOP Bargaining Unit members for a
    vote to accept/ratify or reject. Management presents the Tentative Agreement to
    the employer’s legislative body (e.g. City Council, County Commission, State
    Legislature, etc.).

    Designee/Interest Card– Used in the initial organizing phase, this
    card is a form requiring the name, employer, position and/or classification of
    each individual agreeing to petition the Board/Commission for an election to
    form a Collective Bargaining Unit and indicating the signor’s interest in being
    represented by the FOP. Also known as a Signature Card or Showing of Interest.

    Fact Finding– A process by which a neutral person determines the
    facts surrounding a Collective Bargaining Impasse.

    Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) – Federal law which governs
    employees’ entitlement to compensation and the criteria for determining overtime
    eligibility, including the calculation of the amount of overtime compensation.

    Fair Share– A union acts as an agent for the employees, regardless
    of their union membership and is entitled to collect a portion of regular
    membership dues. Also referred to as an Agency Fee.

    Grievance – An injury, injustice, or wrong that gives ground for a
    complaint. A written Grievance is the method by which an employee notifies the
    employer of a disagreement between the employer and the employee regarding
    employment matters.

    Grievance Committee– A committee of members of a Bargaining Unit
    designated and authorized to review the merits of employees’ Grievances and to
    enforce the provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Grievance
    Committee also provides representation to FOP members in the Grievance Process
    up to and including Arbitration.

    Grievance Process – A process negotiated into the Collective
    Bargaining Agreement whereby employees’ grievances are adjusted in accordance
    with several steps from initial review by an employee’s immediate supervisor up
    to and including Arbitration.

    Impasse– The condition between parties during Collective
    Bargaining in which the parties cannot agree on the terms of a proposed
    Collective Bargaining Agreement; A situation that is so difficult that no
    progress can be made; a deadlock or a stalemate.

    Interest Arbitration – An Arbitration process within some states
    used to resolve Collective Bargaining Impasse requiring the Exclusive Bargaining
    Agent and the employer to submit the proposed terms in dispute to a neutral
    Arbitrator for a final and binding decision. Some states allow the Arbitrator to
    decide issue by issue. Some states require Arbitration by final best offer where
    the Arbitrator is compelled to issue an award based upon the final best offer of
    the Exclusive Bargaining Agent or the employer. Some states require non-binding
    mediation before Arbitration. Some states only permit non-binding Arbitration.

    Job Action– A temporary action, such as a strike or slowdown, by
    workers to make demands or protest a company or managerial decision. Such
    actions are typically prohibited by law for public safety employees.

    Labor Organization – An organization, such as a union, which has
    the purpose of representing Bargaining Units of employees in Collective
    Bargaining in order to negotiate hours, wages, and terms and conditions of
    employment.

    Labor Relations Board/Commission (Board/Commission) – The
    independent governing body within each state with the authority to certify a
    Collective Bargaining Unit, hear and decide charges involving allegations of
    Unfair Labor Practices and enforce all state labor laws. For public employees,
    these boards have different names in different states, e.g., the Public
    Employees Relations Commission (PERC), Public Employees Relations Board (PERB),
    or simply, the Labor Board. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) governs
    private sector unions and employers under the applicable labor laws.

    L.E.O. – Law Enforcement Officer.

    Mediation – Use of an independent neutral individual to meet with
    both the FOP and the employer in order to resolve contract disputes. Mediators
    do not have the authority to bind the parties to a decision. Instead, the
    process enables the parties to reach their own agreement on Impasse issues,
    which agreement can be enforced as a contract

    Meet and Confer– The process whereby the representative of a
    public agency and representatives of a recognized employee organization have the
    mutual obligation personally to “meet and confer” in order to freely exchange
    information, opinions, and proposals to reach agreement on the terms and
    conditions of employment. This is a form of Collective Bargaining.

    Meeting of the Minds– In contract law, mutual assent by both
    parties to the formation of a contract.

    Memorandum of Agreement ( M.O.A.) – A term sometimes used
    synonymously with the term Collective Bargaining Agreement to describe the
    document created through Collective Bargaining. The term M.O.U. is also used to
    describe a supplemental agreement reached by the parties to a Collective
    Bargaining Agreement negotiated during the term of a Collective Bargaining
    Agreement to clarify or resolve disputed items in the Collective Bargaining
    Agreement or other matters not contemplated in the original document. Once
    signed by all parties, the M.O.U. is a legal binding contract.

    Memorandum of Understanding ( M.O.U.) – A term sometimes used
    synonymously with the term Collective Bargaining Agreement to describe the
    document created through Collective Bargaining. The term M.O.U. is also used to
    describe a supplemental agreement reached by the parties to a Collective
    Bargaining Agreement negotiated during the term of a Collective Bargaining
    Agreement to clarify or resolve disputed items in the Collective Bargaining
    Agreement or other matters not contemplated in the original document. Once
    signed by all parties, the M.O.U. is a legal binding contract.

    Petition for Representation – The legal pleading used by the FOP
    to petition the Labor Relations Board for the right to become the Bargaining
    Representative/Agent of a Bargaining Unit for the purpose of Collective
    Bargaining with the employer.

    Past Practice – Employer conduct or procedure whether set by
    policy or not, which has been continuous to point of creating an expectation of
    a continuing practice and which does or does not have a cost factor to the City
    and/or a monetary benefit to a member.

    Showing of Interest – The evidence presented to the
    Board/Commission in support of a Petition for Representation establishing that a
    significant number of employees desire the FOP to become their Exclusive
    Bargaining Agent. The Showing of Interest is usually made by Designee/Signature
    Cards. Most states with Collective Bargaining laws require a showing of interest
    of at least 30% of the employees in the proposed Bargaining Unit before an
    election will be set by the Board/Commission.

    Tentative Agreement (TA) – The term used during negotiations to
    indicate the parties have discussed and mutually agreed to a particular issue or
    set of issues. The term is also used to describe the proposed Collective
    Bargaining Agreement/MOU before the CBA or MOU is ratified and signed. TAs are
    not binding and can be withdrawn before they are ratified.

    Sidebar– A procedure used during Collective Bargaining whereby the
    lead negotiators for each party meet separately, away from their respective
    teams, in order to informally discuss contentious issues.

    Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) – Any act by a union or employer in
    violation of a state’s Collective Bargaining Law, the Federal Labor Relations
    Act, or the Collective Bargaining Agreement/M.O.U.