Contractor’s signatory to more than one craft, may find themselves faced with a jurisdictional dispute between those trade unions. Contractors may choose to stipulate to the Plan for the Settlement of Jurisdictional Disputes, a jurisdictional dispute resolution procedure. Plan stipulation primarily benefits contractors who are signed to more than one trades’ collective bargaining agreement. Stipulation to the Plan in this circumstance allows for quick processing of disputes over misassignment. Additionally, no monetary damages are awarded where a misassignment has occurred, once a contractor is stipulated, in contrast to the likely outcome in the same circumstance if the matter were processed as a grievance under the applicable collective bargaining agreement(s). Contractors who are only signatory to one trade, likely will not benefit from stipulating to the Plan. SMART is automatically stipulated to the Plan through its affiliation with the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO.
When a jurisdictional dispute arises, the Plan Administrator will encourage the parties to settle the matter at the local level. If the dispute is not resolved, the Union may choose mediation through the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) which has five days to mediate the dispute. If the dispute is not resolved through the FMCS, the parties select an arbitrator from a permanent panel of arbitrators. The arbitrator will consider previous agreements of record if applicable and the prevailing practice in the locality. If neither criterion exists, the arbitrator will base the decision on the best interests of the industry.
Under the Plan, a contractor may not change an assignment of work from one craft to another unless directed by a Plan Arbitrator or there is agreement between the crafts involved. The Plan prohibits work stoppages, slowdowns, NLRB and court actions, and grievances under a collective bargaining agreement where the issue involves a jurisdictional dispute or assignment of work by a stipulated contractor.