Collective Bargaining Process

Collective bargaining Process has two dimensions

  1. Negotiating the collective agreements.
  2. Interpreting and enforcing the collective agreement and resolving the conflicts arising.

According to R. Wayne Mondy and robert M.Noe III, the process of collecting bargaining has six majour steps:

1. Getting ready for Negotiation

Both employees and employers should carefully prepare to discuss a wide range of complex issues during negotiations. Preparing for getting ready for negotiation involves selection of negotiations from both sides and unidentifying a suitable site for negotiation.

Negotiators of the management side should:

  1. Present specific proposals for changing the language of the contract.
  2. Identifying the budget that the company proposes to offer.
  3. Preparing statistical data to be used in negotiation.
  4. Gathering information during negotiation such that it can be used for future purpose.

Union should collect information about:

  1. Financial position of the firm and its abilities to pay.
  2. Management attitude from past negotiations.
  3. Employee attitude and desires.

2. Determining Bargaining Issues

I. Wage related issues: The issues like determination of basic wage rate,adjustments regarding cost of living,wage differentials,wage adjustments,overtime rates etc,. fall under this category.

II. Additional monetary benefits: Pension plans,paid vacations,paid holidays,health insurance plans,retrenchment pay,unemployment pension and the like fall under this category.

III. Organizational Issues: These consists of the rights and duties of employees,employers,unions,employee schemes,welfare programmes etc.

IV. Management Issues: The issues such as seniority,work rules,code of discipline,grievance redressal procedure,health ans safety measures,technological changes,job security training etc., full under management related issues to be discussed in collective bargaining.

3. Negotiation

After the preparations are made and issues are being identified,”Negotiation” is the next logical step in collective bargaining process. Negotiation being when each side presents its initial demand and continuous till the final agreement is reached. As the final agreement reached,the agreement is signed by both management and union representatives. The success of negotiation depends upon the skills and abilities of negotiators from both the sides.

4. Approach the Agreement

After a battle of wits,using individual tactics and cleverness,threats of strikes and lockouts,finally an agreement is reached which is amicable to both the parties. After the agreement is reached the two sides return to their constituencies and discuss about the agreement with their respective groups.

5. Formalizing the agreement into a Contract

In this stage,the negotiators of the union explain the agreement to the union members and take their votes. As the voting is completed,the agreement is formalized into a contract. Thus, the contract formalized should be clear and precise as any ambiguity can lead to grievance and other problems.

6. Implementing the Agreement

Formalizing of agreement is not end of collective bargaining process,rather it is the real bargaining of the process. The signed agreement must be implemented according to letter and spirit of provisions of the agreement. But, it is not easy to strictly follow the agreement in day-to-day work stress. Management is primarily responsible for implementing the agreement. It should communicate the agreement to all the level by conducting the meeting or training sessions.