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The Key to Managing Multiple Unions with Ease

Posted by Kit Dickinson on Sep 22, 2020 8:26:43 AM
Kit Dickinson
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union employees talking during break | managing multiple unions with ease

It’s Saturday morning and you’re at your kid’s soccer game, but mentally you’re at work. Yesterday was payday, and the back of your mind is constantly monitoring for the buzz of your phone. You dread the thought of a call from the union steward about a union employee who was paid wrong.

If you’re in the construction or manufacturing industry, it only takes one union to make payroll complicated and challenging. Those complexities grow exponentially as you work with additional unions. But that’s nothing compared with employees that transfer between unions within the same pay period.

We’re seeing a lot of construction and manufacturing companies that are stuck in this scenario, week-in and week-out. Collective bargaining agreements stipulate with great precision and detail how to pay employees and how to handle benefits. Many of our clients also have wage and benefits conditions, such as capping benefits at 40 hours. And each union is different. 

When employees transfer unions during the pay period, you’re now managing a whole new level of complexity. And you might top that off with additional premium pay for something like tool pay or overscale. 

In the end, you’ve got a whole matrix of logic branches that determine how your people get paid and the benefits they’re owed. If every paycheck isn’t correct to the penny, you can expect to receive a grievance. 

So on this Saturday morning, you aren’t simply worried about a paycheck error. A grievance could mean the union considers backing out of your project. 

Related: 5 Keys to Prevent Union Wage Disputes at Your Company

You’re Not Alone

At IDI, we speak quite often with construction and manufacturing companies that are ready to move beyond their legacy payroll system. The complexities of union rules have them tired of dealing with payroll, so they’re shopping out vendors. But most of these companies have been burned before, or they’ve heard stories. And they’re worried that an outsourced payroll provider won’t be able to manage the intricacies that multiple unions create.

Truthfully, we have yet to encounter an HCM system that can handle all of these nuances within their core product. But IDI complements HCMs so that you can accurately pay union employees, while taking advantage of outsourced payroll.

Simplify Union Pay Rules 

IDI has worked in industries that have union employees for decades, and we’re seeing a growing trend of organizations with more and more unions. Companies are expanding into different states that are covered by different unions, or a merger gives them projects that are staffed by new unions. 

IDI’s Contractor Central helps you stay in compliance with your most complex union needs. Your payroll processing is completely handled through software, not manual spreadsheets. As union negotiations change your CBAs, you can easily update Contractor Central yourself to stay current with your rules and policies. If you need a hand, your application is supported throughout the life of our relationship — you can call us anytime you need help. 

The product has to be right on the backend, but you also have to know the right questions to ask on the front end. And you need a proven process to efficiently get that information. That’s where IDI’s unique approach comes in. 

Through a mix of targeted discovery sessions and online tools, we’ll walk you through a method that uncovers all of your needs, requirements, and complexities. The process analyzes and uncovers all the nuances that you need to manage when you have multiple unions. It’s an efficient, targeted, and streamlined approach we’ve honed from thirty years of industry insight.

Stop Dreading Payday

What this means for you is confidence that you’re paying union employees correctly and that benefits are accurate — every time, and without fail. You’ll enjoy peace of mind that the information is in compliance with the contract, and you won’t have to worry about potential grievances.

As benefits change, Contractor Central is designed to scale with new CBAs. You don’t have to start over, rebuild a macro, or rebuild a whole new spreadsheet. The relationships we have in the HCM and ERP industries allow us to extend or enhance your system to support your changing needs.

For example, let’s say the contract changes on January 1, which falls on a Wednesday. Contractor Central has hooks into the time modules so that you pay the old rate on Monday and Tuesday and the new rate starting on Wednesday. Few systems can do that kind of detail without complicated workarounds and manual changes. Contractor Central automates it.

Whether you have three unions or 300 unions, you can automate your payroll without worry. All those nuances and complexities are covered — from tool pay to overscale to transferring unions and more. 

IDI’s proven process delivers results that give you peace of mind that you won’t be facing a grievance on payday. So you can start going to your kid’s soccer games without fear that the union steward will be calling you.

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Topics: Non Industry-Specific Solutions