In some unions, such as those in the construction and film industries, the union may establish a process for referring employees to jobs with employers through a union administered hiring hall.
Terms and conditions of employment
Once the union is certified, there is a freeze on the terms and conditions of employment (e.g. pay, benefits, leaves of absence and working conditions) for employees in the bargaining unit. This means the employer isn’t allowed to unilaterally change the terms and conditions of employment until:
- a collective agreement is agreed to and in force, or
- until 12 months after the date of certification
whichever comes first.
An employer can lay off, discipline, or dismiss an employee during this freeze period if it has proper cause to do so. However, if the discipline or dismissal is motivated in any way by anti-union feelings, then it might not matter whether the employer has proper cause. Acting on anti-union motivation will generally amount to an unfair labour practice, even if the action itself might otherwise be permissible.
During this freeze period, an employer also has the right to make a change in its operations that is reasonably necessary for the proper conduct of its business (business as usual).
When a union is certified to represent its employees, an employer can’t refuse to recognize the union as the exclusive bargaining agent of the employees in the bargaining unit.
The employer must negotiate terms and conditions of employment in good faith with the union. This process of negotiations is called collective bargaining. Once a union is certified the employer can’t refuse to agree in a first collective agreement that all bargaining unit employees must pay dues to the union.
The only exception to the requirement to pay union dues is if the Board has granted the employee a religious exemption.