YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS

Your Collective Agreement
  • All members should be in possession of a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)?

 

  • The CBA is a negotiated document between Employer and Union and the employer is responsible for distribution?

 

  • The purpose of the CBA is to regulate salaries and the terms and conditions of employment?

 

 

To assist our services to our membership, Trade Union Rights are protected under:
  • Attend meetings to discuss joining a union. 

  • Read, distribute, and discuss union literature (as long as you do this in non-working areas during non-working times, such as during breaks or lunch hours). 

  •  Wear union buttons, T-shirts and stickers on the job. 

  •  Sign a membership form and request your employer to recognise and bargain with the union. 

  •  Sign petitions or file grievances related to wages, hours, working conditions and other job issues. 

  •  Ask other employees to support the union, to sign membership forms or to file grievances.

  • Threaten to or actually fire, lay off, discipline, harass, transfer or reassign employees because they support the union. 

  •  Favour employees who don’t support the union over those who do in promotions, job assignments, wages, hours, enforcement of rules, or any other working condition. 

  •  Take away any benefits or privileges employees already enjoy in order to discourage union activity 

  •  Promise employees a pay increase, promotion, benefit or special favour if they oppose the union.

 
You have the legal right under Section 10 of the Constitution of Bermuda and Section 30 of the Trade Union Act 1965 to join or support a union and to:
Certification of a Bargaining Unit

To establish a union in a workplace, 35 percent or more workers in a proposed bargaining unit may express support for the union and file a request for the certification of the union as the bargaining agent to the Labour Relations Officer, copied to the employer.

 

‘Good Faith Bargaining’

After the union is certified as the bargaining agent, your employer is legally required to negotiate in ‘good faith’ with the union for the purposes of collective bargaining. I.e. wages, hours and other working conditions.

 

Protection from Employer Action

Under Section 10 of the Constitution of Bermuda and Section 30 of the Trade Union Act of 1965, your employer cannot legally punish or discriminate against any worker because of union activity.

For example, your employer cannot legally do the following:

Enforcing your Rights

Some employers try to prevent the workers from joining a union. The best way to encourage your employer to recognise your union and negotiate a fair agreement is to build a strong organisation where you work.

 

If your employer violates the law, the union can help you file a grievance with the Labour Relations Officer.

 

The Labour Relations Office has the power – backed up by the courts – to order an employer to stop interfering with employee rights, to provide back pay, and to reverse any action taken against workers for union activity.

For example, your employer cannot legally do the following:

You can help protect your legal rights by:

You can help protect your legal rights by:

You can help protect your legal rights by:

  • Keeping written notes of any incidents in which company officials or supervisors threaten, harass, or punish workers because of union activity.

  •  Immediately reporting any such incidents to your union 

  •  Your notes don’t have to be worded in a certain way, but should include what was said or done, who was involved, where and when it happened, and the names of any witnesses.

  • Keeping written notes of any incidents in which company officials or supervisors threaten, harass, or punish workers because of union activity.

  •  Immediately reporting any such incidents to your union 

  •  Your notes don’t have to be worded in a certain way, but should include what was said or done, who was involved, where and when it happened, and the names of any witnesses.

The Law Says

Section 10 (1) of the Constitution of Bermuda – “Except with his consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of peaceful assembly and association, that is to say, his right to assemble freely and associate with other persons and in particular to form or belong to political parties or to form or belong to trade unions or other associations for the protection of his interests.”

 

Section 30 (1) of the Trade Union Act 1965 – “As between himself and his employer, every workman shall have the following rights:

  • The right to be a member of such trade union as he may choose 

  •  Subject to section 31 Agency Shop, the right not to be a member of any trade union or to refuse to be a member of any particular trade union 

  • Where he is a member of a trade union, the right, at any appropriate time, to take part in the activities of the trade union (including any activities as, or with a view to becoming, an official of the trade union) and the right to seek or accept appointment or elections, and (if appointed or elected) to hold office, as such an official

  • The right to be a member of such trade union as he may choose 

  •  Subject to section 31 Agency Shop, the right not to be a member of any trade union or to refuse to be a member of any particular trade union 

  • Where he is a member of a trade union, the right, at any appropriate time, to take part in the activities of the trade union (including any activities as, or with a view to becoming, an official of the trade union) and the right to seek or accept appointment or elections, and (if appointed or elected) to hold office, as such an official

Section 30 (2) of the Trade Union Act 1965 – “Any employer, or any person acting on behalf of an employer who:

  • Prevents or deters a workman from exercising any of the rights conferred on him by subsection (1) or

  • dismisses, penalises or otherwise discriminates against a workman by reason of his exercising any such rights; or

  • subject to Section 31, refuses to engage a workman on the grounds that, at the time when he applied for engagement –

    • he was a member of a trade union or of a particular trade union; or

    • that he was not then a member of a trade union or a particular trade union or of any two or more particular trade unions, commits an offence.

COPYRIGHT © 2015 BPSU                                                     

Address: 2 Angle Street, 

Hamilton HM10, Bermuda

Tel: 441-292-6985 Fax: 441-292-1149

Email: info@bpsu.bm

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