What is collective bargaining?
Collective bargaining is only process allowing employees, as a group, the right to secure their terms and conditions of employment through negotiation of a legally binding agreement defining the terms and conditions of employment for both employees and employer.
What is the final result of collective bargaining?
Once a contract is negotiated it will contain such provisions as hours of work, wage and salary definitions, safety and work rules, and definition of benefits. The contract is enforceable in a court of law. Without a union contract employees are "at will" employees. They serve at the whim and will of management.
Why is collective bargaining beneficial?
The following points identify the importance of collective bargaining to employees:
- By organizing and acting in concert employees achieve bargaining parity with management.
- Collectively bargained wages and conditions, which reflect the relative strength of the employees, are more substantial than what management would offer absent a union.
- The source of employees’ collective bargaining strength is their credible threat of collective action against their employer.
- Without a union contract management is free to unilaterally set and change conditions for employees without any input from you. With a union contract democracy is introduced into the workplace and you achieve more control over your work lives (where you spend a majority of your waking hours).
- With a union contract employees can win a wide range of benefits that otherwise could legally be withheld by the management, including improvements in vacation and sick leave policies, overtime pay, retirement, etc.