Correspondence & Communications
The following tools are common correspondence and communications that are often required of unionized organizations. Whether communicating with employees or the Union, these templates are designed to help get you started with some common communication subjects.
Each collective agreement outlines different requirements regarding what types of communications, notice and correspondence is required, usually indicating when and to whom. It is important to tailor these templates to address the required information you wish to provide and always consider what your collective agreement requires.
COMMUNICATING WITH EMPLOYEES DURING BARGAINING NEGOTATIONS
At certain times and for various reasons, employers sometimes decide it’s necessary and important to communicate directly with employees during bargaining negotiations. Before doing so, it’s important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of communicating directly with employees during this time. There are also legal considerations to be made as communications can breach the Ontario Labour Relations Act if not crafted properly (e.g., stating facts only, not attempting to bargain directly with employees and not the union, bargaining in bad faith, slandering the union, etc.).
- Employer controlled message
- Limits gossip and rumor mill (ability to share facts and consistent message)
- Give managers a script for what they can say
- Establish credibility with employees and ensure they are informed (can also be used to remind staff to vote and be involved)
- Can disrupt negotiations and/or change the tone (suggest heads up to union)
- Can strain union-management relationship
- Can result in a complaint to OLRB requiring legal support and costs
- Can be seen as trying to negotiate directly with employees instead of with their certified bargaining agent
If your Agency is contemplating communications during negotiations please contact an OPRAH consultant. We can provide advice and also have templates to assist in this regard.
Access resources from our OPRAH Toolkit on Collective Bargaining