Collective bargaining is a system through which the management & union of the organization negotiate with each other, so that certain rules of work can be developed. There is a mutual obligation to both the top management of organization & the representatives of the Employees to meet at certain timing & pleasantly communicate on the issues of working hours, wage rates & other terms of an employment or any other question emerging from the employment term & conditions. Both parties are free to give their recommendations & no one is authorized to force the other to accept his offering or no one can be permitted to receive any concession.
Collective bargaining & Labor Management Relations
The process of collective bargaining is affected by the bargaining structure. There are four kinds of bargaining structures which are as follow.
01- One organization dealing with one union
02- Many organizations dealing with one union
03- Many unions dealing with one organization
04- Many organizations dealing with many unions.
Following are the different kinds of management/union relations that exist in the organization.
- Armed Truce
- Power bargaining
The Collective Bargaining Process
The process of collective bargaining can be influenced by both internal & external factors of the environment. The preparation for negotiation is regarded as the first step in the process of collective bargaining. This is an ongoing & an extensive step for both management & the union. When the negotiating issues have been ascertained, both parties communicate with each other to agree on a mutually accepted contract. There might be some breakdowns in the step of negotiation, but both parties keep certain tools along with the effective arguments that can be utilized to persuade another party in the favor of their personal views.
Finally the rules of the game are agreed by both management & union after properly negotiating with one another and these rules explain the duration of the contract. In the next step of the collective bargaining process the members of the union ratify the agreement. Collective bargaining is a dynamic & a continuous process in which next phase of negotiation mostly starts as the contract is ratified.
The Psychological Aspects of Collective Bargaining
Before the start of the process of collective bargaining, both parties, including management & union must set position & achieve certain tasks. The psychological aspects of the collective bargaining are essentially important for the people involved in the process. The collective bargaining process is psychologically very difficult because it is approached as an adversarial situation. This process operates under the laws of business, politics, government because the conflicting view & ideas are resulted in consensus, justice & agreement.
Preparing For Negotiation
Bargaining issues are categorized into the following three types.
- Mandatory bargaining Issues
- Permissive bargaining Issues
- Prohibited bargaining Issues
Collective Bargaining Issue
Labor Agreement or Contract is the document that results from the collective bargaining process. There are specific topics that are mentioned in all the labor agreements. Following are some of the main kinds of mentioned topics.
It is necessary to clarify the bargaining union as a bargaining representative so that it can be recognized as a bargaining unit.
- Management Rights
The rights of management are often written in the labor agreement and if such section is included in the labor agreement than the management can control other topics that are not mentioned in the agreement as bargain able.
- Union Security
This section is related to the security of that, the union remains as an existing entity in the future along with its functions.
- Closed Shop
In this area the membership of the union is made compulsory before the start of the job.
- Maintenance of Membership
It is included in the agreement that those employees who have the membership of the union at the time when the agreement is passed or those employees who laterally become members of the union must be obliged to keep their membership until the termination of the agreement. But this section is not allowed in certain region or states.
- Agency Shop
The union also acts as an agency shop which means that it can obtain an amount equal to membership fees from those employees who are not members of the union because union is protecting the interests of all of the employees of the organization. This section is also restricted to some regions or states.
- Exclusive Bargaining Shop
Under this section of the labor agreement, the Business Organization must negotiate with the recognized union & membership of the union is not compulsory for the employees. Neither any non-member employee pays any finance charges or fees to the union.
- Open Shop
This section states that the terms & conditions of employment for union members & non-union members are same.
- Dues Cheque-Off
The organization can keep the amount of dues of union from the pays of employees who are members of union and the organization directly pays that withheld amount to the union.
- Compensation & Benefits
Large portion of most of the labor agreements is composed of this section which is related to all the items that can be covered in the compensation and benefits. Following items are also included in this area.
- Wage rate schedule
- Overtime & premium pay
- Jury pay
- Lay-off or severance pay
- Family care