Exchange of Openers
The “Opener” is the initial set of proposals presented by the Union and management at the start of negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement. The Opener may also be referred to as an “opening letter” or simply a “proposal". It may be detailed or general, but it is intended to put the other side on notice as to the changes being sought to the Contract.
The Opener is how we begin the negotiations; it’s our starting position.
Our Opener directly reflects the items you identified as a priority. Our Negotiating Committee uses the survey results, direct feedback from Members, AFA Committees, and direction from your Local Presidents to write our Opening Proposal. They study industry contracts, negotiating history, grievances and other developments to assist in preparations.
Our Opener may be detailed in some areas and more general in others to provide room to maneuver throughout the negotiations. The Opener is approved by your Local Council Presidents who make up the United Master Executive Council.
Once we exchange Openers with management, our Negotiating Committee will be taking to the road to review both our, and management’s Openers with you before returning to Direct Negotiations.
After the Openers are exchanged the parties begin the work of discussing, clarifying, modifying and negotiating over the changes proposed in the Opener until they can reach agreement on terms acceptable to both parties.