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No Unilateral Changes of Compensation Package by Employer During Negotiations with Union
Description An appeals court upheld decision of NLRB that an employer violated the NLRA by unilaterally implementing certain changes to their employees' compensation package while negotiations with the union were on going.
Topic Labor Law
Key Words Collective Bargaining; Unilateral Actions
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts A union representing nurses was in long-lasting collective bargaining with an employer, VNS, after the previous agreement had expired. While negotiations were on going, VNS declared an impasse on certain issues and unilaterally announced that it was implementing some employment benefits that had been discussed but not agreed upon in a final agreement. The union filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the NLRB, which held that VNS could not implement changes while negotiations were on going. VNS appealed.
Decision Affirmed. Unless an employer has bargained to an impasse on a collective bargaining agreement as a whole, there is a violation of the NLRA if the employer makes unilateral changes in mandatory subjects of bargaining, subject to rare exceptions. The changes made were topics of on-going negotiations, so could not be acted upon by VNS.
Citation Visiting Nurse Services of Western Mass. v. NLRB, - F.3d - (1999 WL 315791, 1st Cir.)

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