We collaborate to form strong strategies and successful labor contracts. No matter the size of your business, we advocate and represent your needs at the table. We have a history of negotiating successful and fair Collective Bargaining Agreements.
Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) Negotiation Process
Each negotiation period follows the same timeline and steps. View our infographic to learn more about the milestones for Collective Bargaining Agreements.
Learn about labor and management committees, how decisions are made, and what your rights and responsibilities are during CBA negotiations.
Collective Bargaining Agreements govern the terms and conditions of employment between our contractor members and the District Council 16 workforce. This association represents companies and management during negotiations in the same way the union represents its members. We represent the collective interests of our entire contractor membership, and our expertise enables us to negotiate successful and fair Collective Bargaining Agreements.
We advocate throughout the range of negotiation periods, from preparing for Collective Bargaining and gathering member input, through the application of the Agreement. We encourage our contractor members to be involved and we actively work to represent our members’ business goals.
Signatory contractors who have signed an Active Member Application with the Association are eligible for elevated negotiations representation and support. To check on your status as an Active Member, or to become an Active Member, contact Brooke Fishel, Director of Labor Relations and Communications.
Get clarity on CBA FAQs, like Designated Days Off, Scope of Work, Travel Time, Subsistence, and other wage-related questions.
NCPFC Negotiation Committee Legal FAQ
The information included in this document has been provided and approved by NCAT’s legal counsel, to ensure accuracy. This information is accurate as of March 1, 2020. Our aim is to provide clarity and guidance during this negotiations period.
It’s important to note that information regarding bylaws, dates and other policies are subject to change in the future as they are amended.
There are no specific legal timeframe requirements, although individual Association bylaws may require specific notification timeframes (see NCPFC bylaw requirements below).
If there is no bylaw requirement, we (SGIJ Law Firm) recommend notifying members at least 30-days prior to opening negotiations with the Union. This will ensure members have sufficient time provide feedback to the Negotiations Committee.
As of March 1, 2020, the NCPFC CBA specifies that if a company wants to revoke the Association’s bargaining authority and withdraw from the agreement, they must notify the Union and Association of their intent to terminate their signatory status and must do this by the end of January in the year the contract is being negotiated (see NCPFC CBA requirements below).
NCPFC CBA language regarding CBA notification:
NCPFC CBA (Article 1 Duration, Section 2) - “During the month of January of the year of expiration of this Agreement, any party signatory hereto may give written notice, by certified mail to the Union and the Employers that said party wishes to withdraw from this Agreement. Should such notice be given, such party shall no longer be bound to this Agreement as of July 1st. The Agreement shall continue as to all parties giving no such notice. Further, said notice of withdrawal eliminates said party from participation in any negotiations regarding this Agreement. The notice herein provided for is the sole means by which a party may withdraw from or cancel this Agreement.”
NCPFC Bylaws regarding CBA notification:
NCPFC Bylaws (Article 5.3) - “The Association will provide timely notification to all Active members prior to any opening of a Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiated by the Association for the purpose of extending or changing it in any manner.”
Template language for active member notification if the Association chooses to provide it:
“The Association is preparing to enter negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Should you no longer wish to have NCPFC represent you during negotiations, you are required to provide timely, written notice to the Association revoking its bargaining authority to negotiate on your behalf and to the Union stating your intent to terminate on the current agreement’s expiration date.
Please note that a company revoking the Association’s bargaining authority will cease to be an Active Member as prescribed by the Association’s bylaws. You are encouraged to consult with your own labor attorney for guidance should you elect to proceed independent of the Association.”
Under Federal labor law, in order to be able to bargain individually with a Union for a new agreement, a contractor that is a member of a multiemployer bargaining unit must (1) send in a timely termination notice in accordance with the terms of the CBA and (2) withdraw from the multiemployer bargaining unit/association prior to the start of the formal negotiations for a new Master Labor Agreement. The contractor should also send an 8(d) notice to the federal and state mediation and conciliation services within 30 days of sending the notice of termination.
The Association should not start negotiations before members are notified and have the opportunity to terminate their individual agreement and revoke the Association’s bargaining authority. An exception is if there is a written agreement from the Union that any negotiations prior to May 1st will not bind any individual contractor member of the Association who revokes the Association’s bargaining authority. If the Union does not agree to that Bargaining Ground Rule (Sample Bargaining Ground Rules can be found here.), the Association should not meet for early negotiations.
The Association is not required to notify non-active members of anything related to negotiations. However, by increasing its membership base, the Association also increases its bargaining power. We (SGIJ Law Firm) suggest sending the following notice to non-active members before the Association starts negotiations:
Template language for non-members prior to negotiations:
“The current union agreement expires on XX. NCFPC will be entering into negotiations for a new industry-wide Master Agreement soon. The Association would appreciate your input on contract proposals before it enters into negotiations, a benefit only provided to signatory members who have signed an Active Member Application with the Association. If your company would like to be represented by the NCFPC in negotiations and receive exclusive Active Member communications, contact XX regarding the membership process.”
No, Associations are not required to confirm its status as the bargaining representative for Active members who have signed their power of attorney, unless the bylaws have specific requirements.
We (SGIJ Law Firm) recommend notifying members at least 30-days prior to the January 31 deadline in the year the Agreement is being negotiated with the Union to ensure they have a sufficient amount of time to revoke the Association’s bargaining authority on their behalf. Contractors who do so must also notify the Union in writing and via certified mail of their desire to remove their signatory status.
NCPFC CBA regarding confirmation requirements:
NCPFC CBA language (Article 1 Duration, Section 2) - “During the month of January of the year of expiration of this Agreement, any party signatory hereto may give written notice, by certified mail to the Union and the Employers that said party wishes to withdraw from this Agreement. Should such notice be given, such party shall no longer be bound to this Agreement as of July 1st. The Agreement shall continue as to all parties giving no such notice. Further, said notice of withdrawal eliminates said party from participation in any negotiations regarding this Agreement. The notice herein provided for is the sole means by which a party may withdraw from or cancel this Agreement.”
NCPFC Bylaws regarding confirmation requirements:
There is no language in the bylaws that references notification to members but, DOES have language regarding contractors who want to withdraw from the agreement in the current
Once negotiations have begun, employers cannot communicate with employees regarding the negotiation.
Once a tentative agreement is reached, employers can open communication again with their employees. Employers cannot tell their employees how to vote at any time. However, employers can encourage their employees TO vote.
Employers are very limited in how they can communicate with their employees about their proposals during negotiations. The National Labor Relations Act allows employers to communicate about their proposals only if they communicate the information to the Union first. Employers may respond to misrepresentations or misinformation made by Union representatives regarding their proposals. Employers can communicate with employees prior to the ratification vote, but again, cannot tell their employees how to vote and must communicate information about their proposals to the Union first.
Yes, Association management can communicate details once a tentative agreement is reached. However, they cannot tell them how to vote or influence voting.
There is a legal difference between a “Sweetheart Contract” and an “Interim Agreement”.
In an “Interim Agreement”, the Union may offer some signatory contractors an agreement that allows that contractor’s employees to work during a strike. Under this arrangement a member commits to retroactively complying with whatever agreement is eventually negotiated with the Association. While an Interim Agreement would be considered a kind of “Sweetheart Deal” it is not legally considered a “Sweetheart Contract.” However, these kinds of agreements can interfere with membership. A “Sweetheart Contract” is a contract made through collusion between management and labor representatives which contains terms beneficial to management and unfavorable to union workers. It is also referred to as a "Sweetheart Agreement". It is an agreement suiting some but not others arrived at secretly to benefit some at the expense of the rest, especially an industrial agreement between union and management representatives that is not in the workers’ best interest.
Sweetheart contracts were outlawed by the Federal Taft-Hartley Act and prohibited employers from establishing company-sponsored labor organizations. The term implies less favorable conditions of employment than could be obtained under a legitimate collective bargaining relationship.
In the context of NCPFC negotiations, it could be viewed as an agreement that provides some employers with contract terms less favorable to union members than the contract with Association contractors. However, such an agreement would not be a violation of the National Labor Relations Act absent evidence of corruption or other employer control of the union.
In order to prevent “Interim Agreements” from interfering with membership, the Association should consider the following:
- “Solidarity Agreement” prevents members from signing an Interim Agreement and imposes a substantial monetary penalty for doing so. A Solidarity Agreement is something the Association may want to consider either now or in the future.
- Associations can also include a Most-Favored Nations (MFN) Provision in the CBA. This is a provision that the Union will provide the Association with copies of CBA’s with all other signatory employers within 10 days of receiving a written request from the Association. Even without a Most-Favored Nations clause, the Association can request copies of Agreements with its Association members, but an MFN gives the Association the greatest legal leverage.
NCPFC CBA language regarding Interim Agreements:
There is no language in the CBA regarding Interim Agreements as of March 1, 2020.
NCPFC Bylaws language regarding Interim Agreements:
NCPFC Bylaws (9.3) “Any active members that sign an Interim Agreement during Collective Bargaining negotiations will not be allowed to vote on the ratification of any CBA negotiated by the Association and may be expelled from membership in the Association by majority vote of the membership at a duly called meeting.”