A Brief Introduction About the Collective Bargaining Agreement
A group of employees or a union of an organization might have a few concerns that they want to address and want to negotiate on such as a change in working conditions, wages, pay scales, working hours, benefits provided, project selection, etc.
Collective Bargaining, as the name suggests, is when such a group or union decides to negotiate on certain concerns, terms, and rules with the employer. The negotiation process in certain cases can be extensive, time-consuming, and complicated. A Collective Bargaining Agreement is a written contract between an employer and a union mentioning all the provisions related to employees’ concerns. Both the parties must agree on the terms and conditions, and sign the agreement to make it legally bound.
The law body governing Collective Bargaining is the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). It gives employees the right to collectively bargain.
Other names for the Collective Bargaining Agreement are Labor Agreement and Union Contract.
Who Takes the Collective Bargaining Agreement: People Involved
It is highly common in any organization to have employees who collectively want to negotiate or bargain certain terms and conditions. This is are within their rights to do so. When a group of such employees or union negotiates with the employer, the Collective Bargaining Agreement comes in the picture.
Purpose of the Collective Bargaining Agreement Why Do You Need It?
Better wages and better work culture are two very important and crucial triggers for a union to begin the process of a bargain. However, there is a longer list of issues that can be considered by the union. Here it is –
- To convince the management or employer about the needs of employees.
- To start serious discussions about wages, the scope of work, overtime, and other grievances.
- To make the employer realize the seriousness of employees related matters.
- To eliminate the causes of substantial obstructions.
- To take care of the general welfare of workers and businesses.
Contents of the Collective Bargaining Agreement
Collective Bargaining comes from National Labor Relations Board’s National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). NLRA protects the rights of the employees. It makes it illegal for employers to discourage collective bargaining.
Once both the parties have discussions and agree on certain provisions, it is only then that the Collective Bargaining Agreement comes to the fore.
The agreement will include the details of promises made by the employer. It is also an employment letter, so it will be lengthy and will include all the details relating to an employee’s employment. This Agreement between the employer and employee will last for a year or more, and after that, a new agreement will be drafted.
Some of the things to add in the agreement are an individual’s rights, administration rights, grievance procedure, staff procedures, salary guides, insurance policy, travel and reimbursement, probation, leaves, calendar, release time, professional responsibility, etc.
How to Draft the Collective Bargaining Agreement?
The law requires both the parties to negotiate in good faith. In order to make sure that this law is followed, the employer must refrain from refusing to meet the union, engaging in misleading and farcical negotiations, making changes in agreement without informing the union, etc.
After a certain disagreement when both the parties meet several times to discuss the matters in details, discussions are likely to be intense more often than not. Here is when the bargaining process begins.
Further, when both parties seem to have come on the same page, the management creates a tentative agreement which is carefully read by all involved members of the union. Once everyone agrees on all provisions, parties sign the agreement to make it legally binding.
As seen above, negotiations are the crux of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. It is important for both parties to reach a conclusion in good faith, following the federal rules and laws. Negotiations must work in favour of both the parties and each party will have to make certain compromises to get to a fair deal.
Benefits and Drawbacks of the Collective Bargaining Agreement
A long and time-consuming process of creating a Collective Bargaining Agreement is seen as good and bad both by different people. However, its legality has made it more common and more accessible.
Here are some of the advantages of The Collective Bargaining Process –
- It is pro employees as it provides them with better work conditions, better wages, and some other benefits.
- Since it involves negotiations by a group, there are better chances of convincing the employer about existing problems.
- Increases the productivity of an organization and makes the workplace a happy place.
- Gives employees the respect and importance they deserve.
- Enhances mutual respect for each other at the workplace.
- Reduces strikes, protests, anger issues, etc. at the workplace.
Here are some of the disadvantages of The Collective Bargaining Process –
- It can be time-consuming and costly.
- May not be always fair to each one of the union’s members.
- May highlight differences between employee and employer more than it is required.
What Happens in Case of Violation?
NLRA has the provision of imposing a penalty on the employer for controlling or stopping the union from implementing their Collective Bargaining Rights. For instance, Section 8 (a)(1) of NLRA restricts employers from interfering with, coercing or restraining any employees in their rights from organizing a union or bargain collectively with employers. Section 8 (a)(2) prohibits an employer from dominating or controlling a union.
NLRA protects the rights of employees, and thus, the employer must be extremely cautious in taking every step when it comes to the union.
Collective Bargaining agreement protects the rights of a group of employees in an organization. Employers must learn from it and do their best to make sure that the fair demands of the union are met or at least considered seriously. At any cost, the employer is suggested not to delay or avoid the bargaining process.
Here is a sample of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Download the PDF form here and customize it as per your requirement.
Sample collective bargaining agreement
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This agreement is made between the “Employer” and “Unions” on the effective date of 16th November, 2011.
Employer represented by
Mr. Charles Wu
Address: 3055 Candlelight Drive, Fayetteville NC 28311
Contact number: (910) 488-3939
Unions represented by:
Mr. Alexander Pavlova
Address: 1458 Oldstead Drive, Fayetteville NC 28306
Contact number: (910) 474-3451
Terms and Conditions:
- This Collective Bargaining Agreement is made between “Wu Corporation” and “Union of North Carolina Shipping Dock” wherein “Wu Corporation” will be referred to as the “Employer” while “Union of North Carolina Shipping Dock” will be referred as the “Unions”.
- The member of the board of “Wu Corporation” will execute this Collective Bargaining Agreement on behalf of the Company or the Employer and will be accepted and signed by “Mr. Pavlova” representing the Unions.
- This Collective Bargaining Agreement will constitute the whole Agreement that has been formulated between both parties. There will be no amendments or sun-agreements to this in oral or written form.
- Both the parties “Employer” and “Unions” can amend or change any part of this agreement or specific content through mutual agreement.
- The “Employer” as a part of this agreement recognizes the said “Unions” as signatories of this agreement. The “Unions” consist of employees engaged for different types of work within the organization as covered under Article 7.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties “Employer” and “Unions” have executed this Collective Bargaining Agreement as on the date set forth which is 11/16/2011 (MM/DD/YY).
SIGNED FOR AND ON BEHALF OF EMPLOYER BY:
SIGNED FOR AND ON BEHALF OF UNIONS BY: