my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today. How many employees are affected by the changes?
Also are you in a unionised environment?
12 employees are affected & some of them belong to the CWU but not unionized
Ok thanks, ***** ***** say legal representation do you mean are you entitled to have a solicitor present?
I've just noticed that you are in the USA? Does this related to employment in the UK or USA?
some of the employees would like to have thier union rep in meeting
Ok thanks are you in the UK?
Great I just wanted to clarify that as i am a UK solicitor.
Are the meetings individual consultation meetings?
no we have designated representatives from the different regions to go to the meetings to have discussions with management. about the terms & conditions. But are not happy with some of the proposals they have put to us. and would like some one that knows where we stand to be in meetings with us
Ok can I just clarify whether you are also attending the meetings or if it is just the designated representatives?
I am one off the reps asked by the engineers to represent them in meeting ( I my self am one of engineers there are 5 engineers in total )
Ok thanks that's fine. There is no legal right to further representation by a trade union rep or a solicitor in the circumstances you describe. There is only the right to a trade union representative if the meeting is a disciplinary or grievance type meeting or an outcome of the meeting could be the termination of your employment. If as a group you would like the union to be present then it would be good employee relations employer to allow it though and as a group you could ask if they would allow it and potentially raise a grievance if they do not.
You can of course seek legal advise in respect of the proposed changes. Broadly speaking an employer is allowed to change terms from time to time so long as they are reasonable and consultation takes place.
They must also give notice of the change.
If we refuse the terms we would be deemed to have resigned so would this be grounds to have a union rep
Technically if they give you notice of a change in terms and conditions this is notice of the fact that your contract will terminate on the final date of the notice period and new terms will take affect on the first day of the new terms. You would have the right to claim unfair dismissal if either the process or the proposed new terms are unfair. There is no statutory right to be accompanied at the consultation meetings, this only applies to disciplinary or grievance issues. As I have stated before it would amount to good employee relations to allow the union to attend.