The collective bargaining agreement involves the process of negotiating between the employers and employee union in the form of a legal agreement. The collective agreement that is reached is written down in the collective bargaining agreement. Generally, the collective agreement keeps in mind a certain number of pointers which are working hours, wages, training, over time, health, safety, grievance mechanisms and the rights of the employee in the company. The negotiations of the union can be done to a single employer who represents all the company’s shareholders or it could negotiate with an entire group to reach a mutually agreeable agreement.
- The collective bargaining agreement operates as a labor contract where the employers and the union are the two parties involved.
- The negotiations are done between representatives from each side whether it is the union or the employer. The negotiations must be mutually satisfying that is the agreement must contain terms and conditions that suit both the employer and the employee in terms of wages, working hours and other clauses.
- The collective bargaining agreement is a result of both parties and their ability to reach and formulate this agreement. The National Labor Relations Act of 1935(1) in the United States takes charge of all collective bargaining agreements in the private sector. There can be no discrimination of the employees in terms of races, gender etc. nor can they be terminated on similar grounds. The union cannot force an employee to join its union and cannot collectively increase the wages of all the members of the union.
The collective bargaining agreement must keep in mind the following clauses:
- Increase of wages
- Improvement of health benefits
- Working hours’ flexibility
- Working conditions
- Sufficient measures for grievances
Once the collective bargaining agreement is created, it is then up to the votes of the employees to decide how long this agreement should be and it must be approved by the majority. When the time of the agreement is over, the collective bargaining agreement can be renegotiated according to the changes of the work environment, economic factors etc. The collective bargaining agreement may vary according to the different states but generally 1 to 2 percent of dues are required to be paid. These are union security clauses that are paid by the management. It is illegal not to pay these dues. However, a collective bargaining agreement does have its importance if it could be presented enunciating the indispensable points lucidly.