Checklist of negotiating do’s and dont’s for human resources
Strong management rights
- Do insist upon a management clause that grants your school operational flexibility, ranging from the ability to assign jobs to enforcing reasonable work rules.
- Don’t agree to a boilerplate management rights clause that is vague and overly broad. Arbitrators and courts have ruled that such clauses do not give employers cart blanche approval. Schools need to specifically enunciate what management rights are being retained.
- Do maintain as much discretion as possible when hiring employees. Clarifying your abilities or options in writing will also limit hiring mistakes.
- Don’t guarantee automatic contract renewals. Employee performance may become an issue down the road. Management also needs flexibility to hire individuals with new or different skill sets based on the institution's changing needs or culture.
- Do agree to conduct substantive employee evaluations on an annual basis. Adopt a protocol based upon multiple criteria, including instructional skills and publishing articles or research in scholarly journals.
- Don’t limit faculty evaluations to peer review and student evaluations. Both can be doctored or inflated. Students may also feel pressured into assigning high ratings for teachers while some faculty may be resistant to making negative comments about their peers.
- Do limit the number, scope, and participation involving committees. This will help protect the school’s management rights.
- Don’t incentivize or offer compensation to individuals for serving on committees. Unions favor employee committees, which attempt to exert authority over management decisions.
Source: Don Schroeder, partner, Mintz Levin law firm, Boston