Collective bargaining is negotiation between unions and employers to come to an agreement on the conditions of employment.
Learning Objective: Outline the conditions and negotiation process between groups of employees (unions) and employers in the human resource frame.
In collective bargaining, the process of negotiation between employees and employers, employees attempt to achieve employment conditions that serve their shared interests. Employees are commonly represented by the union to which they belong. The collective agreements reached by these negotiations attempt to establish:
The union may negotiate a specific agreement with a single employer, or it may negotiate with a group of businesses to reach an industry-wide agreement. A collective agreement functions as a labor contract between an employer and one or more unions. Collective bargaining consists of the process of negotiation between representatives of a union and employers (generally represented by management) in respect to the terms and conditions of employment, such as wages, hours of work, working conditions, grievance procedures, and the rights and responsibilities of trade unions. The parties often refer to the result of the negotiation as a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) or as a collective employment agreement (CEA).
In the United States, the National Labor Relations Act of 1953 covers most collective agreements in the private sector. This act makes it illegal for employers to discriminate, spy on, harass, or terminate the employment of workers because of their union membership. It also makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who engage in organizing campaigns or form company unions or to refuse to engage in collective bargaining with the union that represents their employees. It is also illegal to require any employee to join a union as a condition of employment. Unions are also exempt from antitrust law, in the hope that members may collectively fix a higher price for their labor.