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Trade Union Recognition - Collective Bargaining

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 Thanks to Jamie Susskind of Littleton Chambers for preparing this case summary

In cases of compulsory trade union recognition, is there an obligation to negotiate items which are not core contractual terms 'relating to pay, hours and holiday'?

No, held the High Court in British Airline Pilots' Association v Ltd.

The Central Arbitration Committee had declared that the Claimant trade union be recognised by the Defendant airline as entitled to negotiate on behalf of its pilots in respect of their 'pay, hours and holiday' (Schedule A1 to the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, paras. 3(3); 22(2)).

The central issue was whether rostering arrangements 'the shifts, hours, and periods worked by pilots' were 'pay, hours and holidays' to be negotiated.

Supperstone J considered the statutory framework, contemporary parliamentary material, and 'business sense' in the context of the case, and held that there was no obligation to negotiate items which were (i) not 'apt for incorporation' because they were non-contractual in nature (expressing an objective or aspiration); (ii) not apt for negotiation within the statutory framework; and/or (iii) adjectival or ancillary matters not falling within the core terms relating to pay, hours and holidays.

On the facts, the employer had not breached the statutory scheme.