What is the Collective Bargaining Agreement?

By hrlineup | 17.12.2019

All employers come up with terms and conditions of employment before they employ the staff in their organisation. In large organisations, it is even more important that these terms and conditions are clear and accepted by both the employers and employees. This normally calls for an agreement to be put in place which spells out all the rules and regulations worth noting. Arriving at collecting bargaining agreements happens once there has been some negotiation between the employers as well as representative employees. Through these agreements, it becomes easier to agree on regulated working salaries and working conditions. In addition, everything to do with the compensation that workers are entitled to, as well as he benefits that they can look forward to are included in these agreements. Typically, one can conclude that all employee interests are captured in the agreement.

How Collective Bargaining Agreements come together

There is a collective bargaining process that the employer must go through to finally arrive at the agreement. There are five main steps that need to be followed during this process and they include the following: –

  • Preparation – This is where the team that will carry out the negotiations are chosen. They need to have a background in labor law as well as be strong in negotiation.
  • Discussion – This second step is where the rules within the bargaining process are to be outlined to ensure that all goes well.
  • Proposal – This third step includes some back and forth from the team in place, as they go over their opening statements and propose the solutions that they have come up with in the situation.
  • Bargaining – This is possible the most intense part of the process as it involves going through all the proposals and trying to come up with compromises. The end of this process is the creation of a draft agreement which captures all that the agreement is meant to have. The agreement at this point is not legally binding though.
  • Final Agreement – The last step in the process where a final agreement is put in writing, and then the main parties can sign it. This then puts the agreement into effect.

As earlier mentioned, there are representative employees that take part in the process, and they are normally a part of a trade union. The union is given the mandate to negotiate with a single employer, or in some cases, will be able to negotiate with several businesses as well.

Essentially, the final agreement that is created as a result of the discussions and negotiations forms a labour contract that outlines a wide array of subjects. In addition to spelling out what the employer is expected to do, there are also details on the rights and responsibilities of the trade union. This ensures that both parties can work easily within this agreement.

Finding Some Reference Materials

To understand what you can expect to find within these agreements, it makes sense to look at a collective bargaining agreement example. There are collective bargaining agreements online which are normally found in listings for companies that are both in the private and public sector. It you are looking for an agreement for a particular company, you can normally find what you are looking for by scrolling through alphabetical listings, using the name of the employer as the main reference point.

Making the Right Decisions

There is a cost to these agreements, and an employer that does not take the time to cover all their bases may find themselves in a situation that they cannot afford. Before an agreement is signed, meaning that it is set in stone for a specific duration, it is best to seek some legal counsel. One can also educate themselves by reading a booth titled the Employers Guide to Union Organisation. Being informed helps to avoid loopholes that can be a massive cost in the long run.

As an employer, and an employee as well it is worth noting that the collective bargaining agreement is not a perpetual one. This agreement will normally be enforced for a fixed number of years and when the agreed time comes to an end, then a renegotiation will take place.