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Trade Union Strategy - and - The Law Georgina Hirsch, personal views as ex-Union Legal Director PowerPoint Presentation
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Trade Union Strategy - and - The Law Georgina Hirsch, personal views as ex-Union Legal Director. Outline. Collective Agreements Industrial Action What are Union Legal Services For? Pervasive Imperatives (Speaking as an ex-Union Legal Director). Trade Union rights shopping list

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Presentation Transcript
slide2

Trade Union Strategy

- and -

The Law

Georgina Hirsch, personal views as ex-Union Legal Director

slide3

Outline

Collective Agreements

Industrial Action

What are Union Legal Services For?

Pervasive Imperatives

(Speaking as an ex-Union Legal Director)

slide4

Trade Union rights shopping list

  • Are you getting more than basic CAC rights?
  • Hidden ‘No Strike’ Clauses
slide5

CAC applications

    • Description & Choice of bargaining unit
    • Numbers – managing expectations
    • 40% of those who can vote
    • 3 year ‘lock out’
slide7

Legally Enforceable Collective Agreements?

  • TUL(C)RA 1992 s179 “Whether agreement intended to be la legally enforceable contract
  • (1) A collective agreement shall be conclusively presume not to have been intended by the parties to be a legally enforceable contract unless the agreement –
  • (a) is in writing, and
  • (b) contains a provision which (however expressed) states that the parties intend that the agreement shall be a legally enforceable contract.
  • (2) A collective agreement which does satisfy those conditions shall be conclusively presumed to have been intended by the parties to be a legally enforceable contract.”
  • Parts (3) & (4) => can state that certain parts are legally enforceable and use the other parts for interpretation.
slide8

Against:

  • Traditionally quick and effective resolution through strike action
  • Courts under capitalism unlikely to be helpful re interpretation
  • Kaur v Rover
  • BA crew compliment
  • Awaiting ‘implied term’ test
slide9

A possible tool where unlikely to win with strike

  • Hard Times bargains, where employees making sacrifices to keep their jobs
slide10

TUPE Transfers

  • TUPE Regs 2006
  • Generally contractual rights protected – Reg 4
  • Collective Agreement re terms and conditions continue in force - Reg 5
  • Liability for ‘sums payable’ to employee under Reg 4 does NOT transfer if the transferor is subject to “relevant insolvency proceedings” (Reg 8(4))
  • Regs 4 (contractual rights) and 7 (dismissal) do not apply where the transferor “is the subject of bankruptcy proceedings or any analogous insolvency proceedings which have been instituted with a view to the liquidation of the assets of the transferor and are under the supervision of a insolvency practitioner” Reg 8(6)
  • Strategic timing might mean push for transfer before
  • Questions re unions talking to potential buyers
industrial action

INDUSTRIAL ACTION

Legal Challenges

&

Tory Plans

slide12

Gregor Gall highlighted the legal challenges and obstacles

  • 579 2009
  • The Boring at the heart of Activism:
  • - membership name, job, location, contact details
  • - members entitled to vote, and long lapsed members
  • - getting the no’nas on board for the future
slide13

WHAT ARE UNION LEGAL SERVICES FOR?

  • About 10 years ago…
    • Indemnity basis for PI funding
    • No referral fees
    • No self insurance premiums (CCFAs)
    • Officers doing Tribunals
    • Organisation of members….
slide14
..more of these

today challenges of these

slide15

The Golden Years:

  • Subsidised or free employment tribunal by solicitors
  • Freed up officers for other work
  • – but less incentive to keep up with the law
  • - tribunals got more legalistic
  • Demands of new, less organised work places
  • Anticipate attack on facility time, which will put further pressure on officers
slide16

Squeeze on funding pot over the golden years

  • Fewer accidents
  • Bumps and slips
  • Stress cases and costly discrimination cases increased
  • + employment cases generally up astronomically – particularly when mass job losses
  • Competition from non-union lawyers on no-win, no-fee
slide17

Future developments likely to make the pips squeak

  • Success fees from client’s damages
  • CCFA not recoverable
  • Possible ban on referral fees
  • Big figures for union funds
  • Can the present package continue?
  • Impact on service to members?
  • Is the free work a referral fee?
slide18

How might unions respond?

  • Role for workplace mediation for disputes
  • between employees?
  • Proactive re informal stage, and
  • resurrect ‘assertiveness’?
  • Officers start getting experience
  • re low value/prospects cases?
  • Bring in case workers instead?
  • But measure of value against officers?
  • Risks if traditional staff status..
  • Union Ts & Cs compared to external provision?
  • ET costs in case – member benefit and sols continue?
slide19

Contact

London

10 - 11 Bedford Row

London WC1R 4BU

DX 1046 London / Chancery Lane

T +44 (0) 20 7269 0300

F +44 (0) 20 7405 1387

Bristol

3 Orchard Court, St Augustines Yard

Bristol BS1 5DP

DX 78229 Bristol 1

T +44 (0) 117 930 5100

F +44 (0) 117 927 3478

E clerks@oldsquare.co.uk

W www.oldsquare.co.uk