What Role Does an HR Manager Play in Labor Contract Negotiations?

By hrlineup | 21.02.2022

Human Resource management is essential in any organization. One of the important benefits of having a Human Resource manager is that they understand employment and labor relations. The hr manager is vital as they participate in negotiations involving a labor contract that will benefit both the organization and its employees. He/she must understand how to relate to trade unions as well. Trade unions protect the rights of employees, so good relations with the unions means happy workers. Even if the hr manager is not knowledgeable about labor relations, it is beneficial to train them.

As a human resource manager, you should understand what roles you should play. Understanding the definition of the collective bargaining agreement and what it entails should also be in your to-do list. You must also play the role of the payroll department in the collective agreement negotiation process.

A collective bargaining agreement in hr management lays out the term and conditions for employees within a specific time.


As a Human Resource manager who is knowledgeable about the labor laws, you need to participate in collective bargaining role play. Your job will be to decide what terms of the agreement are fair for both the employer and the union. You may also need to specify the appropriate period in which the deal will be valid. You need to provide the necessary data that managers will use in the negotiation process.


After agreeing, you will have to negotiate on wages. You will first hold a meeting with the company’s executives and decide what amount has been set aside for wages. If the production of the company is higher, then employees’ salaries will remain the same. Your job will be to create that balance with the union-negotiated pay rates. Your decision will depend on the calculation of labor costs and predictions of future scenarios.


The most important part of the negotiation process is the benefits. You, as a Human Resource manager, should draft what you feel is best for the employees. Wage increases or decreases will affect employees’ services, which is where unions are most curious. The process can be lengthy because each party wants to gain from the negotiation.


A collective bargaining agreement process can be tiresome and lengthy. Apart from protecting the organization’s interests, hr managers must also make sure employees are comfortable in their workplace. An uncomfortable workplace can cost the company a lot because of employees’ turnover. So, to ensure a smooth negotiation process, hr manager needs to be knowledgeable and well trained.