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IDLE TIME. Time during which a worker is not working; includes occurrences when machine controlled elements in a task exceed the time required for “internal” manual operations.

IMPARTIAL CHAIRMAN. An arbitrator employed jointly by a union and employer, usually for a definite term, to serve as the impartial party on a tripartite arbitration board and to decide all disputes or specific kinds of disputes arising during the life of the contract. The functions of an impartial chairman often expand with experience and the growing confidence of the parties, and he/she frequently acts alone in deciding a case. (UMPIRE.)

IMPASSE. Point at which a deadlock is reached in labor negotiations.

IMPROSHARE. Improved productivity through sharing; a gainsharing incentive pay program for employees based on improved productivity. (See GAINSHARING)

IMPROVEMENT FACTOR. Wage earner benefits resulting from increased productivity. A term used in an agreement negotiated by the United Automobile Workers (C.I.O.) with the General Motors Corporation in May, 1948, describing an annual increase in wages of a stipulated amount during the life of the agreement.

INCENTIVE. A reward and worker inducement for above normal effort and continued performance above standard.

INCENTIVE EARNINGS. Actual earnings less base pay for actual hours worked under an incentive system. (See INCENTIVE PAY.)

INCENTIVE OPPORTUNITY. Earnings potential over and above a base wage for productivity which exceeds an established performance standard.

INCENTIVE PACE. Performance of a qualified worker at a speed above that established as standard or normal for a task or job.

INCENTIVE PAY. Extra pay for work performed in excess of a set quantity or “standard.”

INCENTIVE PERFORMANCE. Worker output in excess of a set predetermined standard of productivity. (See INCENTIVE PACE.)

INCENTIVE PLAN. A method for compensating work performed over and above an established level or standard.


INCENTIVE PLAN, PIECEWORK. An earnings system based upon the number or quantity of units produced.

INCENTIVE PLAN, STANDARD HOUR. An earnings system based on pay hours earned above actual clock hours worked.

INCENTIVE RATE. (1) The term “incentive rate” may apply to pay per unit for production above a predetermined minimum standard of output, or a ratio of management-labor sharing of labor cost savings resulting from the operation of an incentive system. (2) Rate upon which compensation for producing a given quantity of work is based (differs from day work).

INCENTIVE WAGE SYSTEM. General term for methods of wage payment which relate earnings of workers to their actual production, individually or as a group. (See GROUP INCENTIVE PLAN, PIECEWORK.)

INCIDENCE RATE. An explicit formula for determining the number of accidents and diseases per year by the number of employee exposure levels. Required by OSHA.

INCIDENCE RATE. Any remuneration paid by an employer which is perceived by the employee to have utility.

INCOME POLICY. A guideline for setting wages.

INCOME SECURITY PLANS. An employer financed agreement to provide guaranteed weekly payments to laid- off workers.

INCUMBENT. A person occupying and carrying out a job.

INDEPENDENT UNION. Term applied to local, national, and international unions not affiliated with the AFL- CIO.

INDEXING. An automatic wage adjustment to reflect changes in cost of living, or other economic indices of the economy.

INDIRECT COMPENSATION. Money paid by an employer for an employee to a third party such as hospitalization, life insurance, disability insurance and other fringe benefits; or benefits derived by an employee from such services provided for by an employer. Also known as fringe benefits or supplemental compensation.

INDIRECT LABOR. Labor that is necessary to support the manufacture of a product or the provision of a service but does not directly enter into transforming the material into the product or performing the service.

INDIVIDUAL EQUITY. A fairness criterion that directs employers to set wage rates for individual employees (people on the same job, in the simplest case) according to individual variation in merit.


INDIVIDUAL RATE. Compensation based, in a loose way, upon the job being done, or related to the training, ability, skill, and bargaining power of the individual worker. In many establishments, there is no formal wage structure (either job rates or rate ranges), and the rates paid are known as individual rates or individual pay rates. The term “individual rate” is also used to indicate the rate actually received by the individual worker, as distinguished from the job rate shown in the rate structure maintained by an employer.

INDIVIDUAL RETIREMENT ACCOUNT (IRA). A tax-deferred retirement savings plan.

INDIVIDUAL WAGE DETERMINATION. The method of arriving at the actual wage to be paid an individual considering such factors as individual performance, wage history, position in a range and experience.

INDUSTRIAL DEMOCRACY. Labor participation with management in making decisions relating to the operation of the organization.

INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS CENTER. A part of a university dedicated to research, training, and education in the field of union/management interaction. These centers may also be called institutes or schools.

INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS. General term covering matters of mutual concern to employers and employees and includes the relationships, formal and informal, between employer and employees or their representatives; an area of specialization within an organization.

INDUSTRIAL UNION. A union that represents all or most of the production, maintenance, and related workers, both skilled and unskilled, in an industry or company. May also include office, sales, and technical employees of the same companies. (See CRAFT UNION.)

INDUSTRY-WIDE BARGAINING. Negotiations between an employers’ group and a union resulting in an agreement covering a substantial part of an industry, e.g. all class one railroads. The term “industry-wide” does not necessarily imply nationwide coverage. It is usually safe to assume that in whatever way “industry” is used, it does not include every establishment.

INEQUITY. A real or alleged variation, generally applied to wage rates or benefits that are lower than those prevailing elsewhere in the plant, company or industry for the same or comparable work.

INEQUITY ADJUSTMENT. Pay adjustment for inequity.

INFLATION. A rise in the general level of prices as measured by changes in the Consumer Price Index.

INFORMATIONAL PICKETING. Picketing designed to inform the public that a labor dispute exists between workers and their organization.

INITIATION FEE. Payment required of a worker when he/she joins a union.

INJUNCTION. Court order restraining one or more persons, corporations, or unions from performing some act which the court believes would result in irreparable injury to property or other rights. Also known as labor injunction.

INTEGRATED SALARY STRUCTURE. A compensation system that brings together theories, facts, discoveries, principles, and considerations of many fields and disciplines involving sound, meaningful, and effective policy recommendations which anticipate changing conditions.

INTERCITY DIFFERENTIAL. Differences in prevailing wage levels among a group of cities; such differences are measured by rates for comparable occupations and industries on a city to city basis. (See AREA DIFFERENTIAL.)

INTERIM EARNINGS. Income earned after an employee is discharged which may be deducted from an award of back pay upon reinstatement by an arbitrator.

INTERNAL EQUITY. A fairness criterion that directs an employer to set wage rates that correspond to the relative value of each job to the organization.

INTERVIEW. A question and answer method for gathering information about a job and a job candidate involving a person who is knowledgeable about the job and the candidate. (See DISCIPLINARY INTERVIEW.)

INTRINSIC REWARDS. Rewards that are associated with the job itself, such as the opportunity to perform meaningful work, complete cycles of work, see finished products, experience variety, and receive feedback on work results.

IRA. Individual Retirement Account. (See ERTA, INDIVIDUAL RETIREMENT ACCOUNT (IRA).)

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