Definition of collective bargaining
Collective bargaining refers to the process of negotiation between the group of employees, represented by their employees' union (Trade Union), and the respective employees in the event where significant issues arise (Katz, & Kochan, 2004). The negotiation between the two parties, concerns issues related to wages adjustments, work safety improvement, training of the personnel, right to get involved in the companys affairs, adjustment of working hours, and layoffs. The negotiation may involve the union versus a single employer, (who is usually a representative of the company's shareholder), or either a group of businesses, depending on the country's policies, to reach an industry-wide agreement. It is important to note that the collective agreement operates as a labor contract between one or more unions and the employer. Once the both parties have arrived the agreement, the resultant "collective bargaining agreement, or CBA, turns into a contract that governs the issues surrounding employment (Gorman & Finkin, 2004).
Whereas the employer and the union can reach a voluntary agreement on various issues, there are also some limitations that need some observations with regards to the state and federal laws. First, the CBA cannot establish any duty, right, or circumstances that are considered to be illegal. For instance, the employer and union are restricted from bargaining away the rights of employees under the Civil Rights Act. Secondly, the is no circumstances that the agreement can waive obligations and waive that the law opposes on either party. For instance, the union is not allowed to waive an obligation of the employer with regards to the state and federal occupational safety laws. Thirdly, if there is no agreement reached by both parties, the law allows the involved parties to proceed in applying legal strategies to pressure the other party to arrive at an agreement. An example of the strategies to be used is strikes and lockouts (Katz, & Kochan, 2004).
The steps of the collective bargaining process
The collective bargaining process comprises of the following core steps:
Proper preparation into the collective bargaining will determine amicable agreement by the both parties. Both sides, the employers, and the employees union ought to select a negotiating team of negotiators who have strong negotiation skills and are versatile with the labor laws; also, they need to analyze the most reliable available information that will play a part in supporting their quest in negotiating for better deals. The trade union is always considered in the dialog to represent the employees; however, in the absence of the trade union, a group will be selected which all the entire employees have confidence in them (Gorman & Finkin, 2004).
The trade union or the selected group that represent the workers composes disputed issues that are related to the working conditions as well as the compensation. A series of conditions, benefits, rules and regulations exists, while the proposal availed by the workers' targets at outlining the urgency of enhancements and changes to the working conditions. The proposal later comes to be the dialogues that follow (Katz, & Kochan, 2004).
It is considered tedious and arduous for the group of workers to develop such proposals through integrating the individuals' viewpoints. The meeting concludes in consensus, the leaders of the group seizing the majority opinions, or sticking to the foremost standpoint. The suitable proposals are the ones prepared while considering diverse issues like the company's internal and external conditions, its financials as well as other matters, on the management side, they will constantly be counter-argue some of the issues (Katz, & Kochan, 2004).
Once after the preparation, the two involved parties settle on the negotiation table at an agreed venue. Typically, the process of negotiation begins by the presentation of the employee's grievances, by the union representatives. However, the response received from the employer or management is usually quite extreme just like that of the union. The management counters the demands made by the union by providing a little of what the union bargained for in the last contract (Gorman & Finkin, 2004).
This tussle continues with the both parties involved. In the course of it all, every party evaluates the related precedence of the others demands. This process in a state whereby they make an attempt to get the highest offer of the management to estimate the lowest demands that are acceptable by the union. Therefore, every group surrenders a few of its demands to pave the way for an agreement at the time when they truly reach an agreement; it translates into a written contract. If both parties do not arrive at an agreement, then it is referred to as a breakdown or deadlock impasse (Gorman & Finkin, 2004).
When both parties have reached a consensus either by overcoming bargaining stalemate or in a normal/initial process, written in an opening statement stating the options as well as the potential solutions to the issue on hand. The form of agreement normally includes the terms and conditions of the agreement, as well as the date the date to be effective, the duration of its operation together with the names of the participants. The prepared agreement sent to the management and the laborers for the endorsement and confirmation. The both parties' representatives (Gorman & Finkin, 2004).
Signing of the agreement
Due to the legal provisions, the ratification of the agreements needs to get done. As per the section 18 (1) of the 1947 Industrial Disputes Act, any collective bargaining agreement will not become automatically applied to entire workers of a company. The agreement can only be officiated after being, ratifies, approved and signed by management and the labor representative.
The collective agreement is referred to as union contract, labor- management agreement or labor contract. Members of management and union members receive copies of the contract and agreement. The agreement specified in formal terms the characteristic of the connection between the management and the labor for the ensuing of time as compromised in negotiation (Katz, & Kochan, 2004).
Implementation of Agreement
The implementation process will proceed after ratification and approval of the agreement. The agreement stipulates the implementation process and the implementation ought to be done with absolute nobility with regards to its both parties since the date it will become effected as indicated in the agreement. It is the duty of the Human Resource Department to make sure that proper and absolute implementation of entire conditions stated in the agreement (Gorman & Finkin, 2004).
The most imperative aspect that is involved in the implementation of the agreement is defining the procedure for dealing with the grievances that emerge due to the collective agreement. Practically, nearly all the collective- bargaining agreements have a formal procedure to be applied in settling grievances concerning the agreement application and implementation. In this case, the grievances, if any, are supposed to be resolved appropriately (Gorman & Finkin, 2004).
The best practices for collective bargaining strategies.
Formally, the union and employers are entitled to the following regulation when participating in a collective bargaining.
Be Prepared: The important factor that the parties need to do preparation before negotiation. The members of the team ought to have an in-depth understanding of the present collective bargaining agreement. The team needs to evaluate the grievances filled since the last grievances (Feller, 1973).
Understand the bargaining unknit: It is important to have a considerable viewpoint of what is essential to the bargaining unit. For the instant, it is important to know whether the union is composed of the older workers preparing for retirement, or young members who are aiming at demanding the better salary. This information is fundamental in the preparation of the proposals. Therefore, they assist the union's proposal to become accepted (Feller, 1973).
Have the Data to Support Your Positions: There is need to include the accurate data that supports your position. It pertains having copies of financial documents, previous bargaining agreements together with any source of information required to support the party's position (Gorman & Finkin, 2004).
The employers are expected to bargain with the employees full representative over obligatory issues of bargaining, although no need to bargain over bargaining tolerant factors. In fact, demanding negotiation over permissive bargaining issues may be viewed to be unfair labor act. The mandatory issues of bargaining are such as hours, wages among other terms together with the employment conditions. while the Permissive issues of bargaining may include union dues, retiree benefits as well as the employer's board of directors (Feller, 1973).
Both the union and the employer are expected to arrive at agreement; however, they are needed to dialogue in good faith concerning the mandatory issues of bargaining up to the time there will be a deadlocked.
Provided that there is an implementation of a valid collective bargaining agreement, there is the restriction of an employer from single alter the employments terms that are mandatory issues of the bargaining if negotiations have not turned into a deadlocked. But, if the negotiations turn to a deadlocked, the employer can individually implement the changes given that they offer it to the Union for consideration.
Evaluate the arguments against and pro collective bargaining.
Some view pro-collective bargaining as argumentative, such individuals favor cooperative, not fundamentally egalitarian alternative as the proceed. Some prefer pro-collective bargaining citing is a legal framework that contained workers, they want is to be legalized while the trade unions become bureaucratic. They continue to overstate that an individual employee has limited chance to take part in negotiation with their employer and they easily manipulated them (Gorman & Finkin, 2004).
Feller, D. E. (1973). A general theory of the collective bargaining agreement. Cal. L. Rev., 61, 663.
Gorman, R. A., & Finkin, M. W. (2004). Basic Text on Labor Law, Unionization, and Collective Bargaining. West Academic Publishing.
Katz, H. C., & Kochan, T. A. (2004). An introduction to collective bargaining and industrial relations. Irwin Professional Pub.
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