What information must an employer provide the union during the negotiation process?
Author: Irene Stavrellis Englert, Englert Legal Consulting, LLC
It is important for an employer to remember that it has a duty to furnish all relevant information to the union during the collective bargaining process. Examples of the type of information a union may request include the following:
- Demographic information about the employees, e.g., age, median and mean wage and hours worked including overtime; and
- Health care benefits and estimated increase in costs over the life of the collective bargaining agreement.
However, the requested information must be relevant, available to the employer, able to be compiled in a reasonably manner and must not be confidential.
Note that an employer is not required to provide its financial information unless the employer argues that it is unable to pay a wage increase. It is only then that the employer must furnish the union with supporting documents as to its inability to afford a wage increase for its employees. Although, if the employer merely argues that it is unwilling to pay a wage increase, then the union is not entitled to the financial information.