What Is Collective Bargaining?

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The term collective bargaining is quite common within organizational circles. The term captures the reality of the issues that exist in the relationship between employers and workers. Indeed, employers need employees to provide the necessary labor to achieve organizational goals. Irrespective of whether the employer is the government or from the private sector, collective bargaining is an important element for ensuring a better working relationship with employees. To understand this, it is prudent to provide a definition of collective bargaining because it captures its essence. Collective bargaining entails a negotiation process between employers and workers regarding better employment terms and working conditions. Often, employers and employees…show more content…
It would be impossible to have all employees participate in collective bargaining, especially because of their large numbers. On the part of the employers, they too can be represented in collective bargaining processes by employers’ associations and representatives. The ultimate goal of collective bargaining is to reach an agreement that is acceptable to both parties and avert further rifts that may result in workers striking or moving to court for legal redress. Some of the common issues discussed in collective agreements include minimum wages, employee safety, provision of better working environment, and managerial misdemeanors directed towards the workers. A good example of a collective bargaining process occurred in Seattle in 2014 where SEIU (Service Employees International Union) engaged employers from the business community and political figures in negotiating for a raise in minimum wage. The collective bargaining process led to a collective agreement in the form of a plan for raising the minimum wage (Meyerson…show more content…
In collective bargaining, employers too are stakeholders and ensuring that their interests are not compromised is important. Particularly, this is the case when the employees’ interests are conflicting with those of the employers. For example, a demand for shorter working hours by the workers would compromise the interests of the employer to enhancing productivity, which is part of their management mandate. In the collective bargaining agreement, some of the employers’ interests covered include managerial responsibility, safety standards, and disciplinary responsibility (Budd 11). The issue of employers’ rights is crucial to collective bargaining agreements because of the nature of the employer-employee relationship. Notably, collective bargaining is primarily based on strengthening or managing this relationship to the satisfaction of all parties. Therefore, without ensuring that the rights and responsibilities of each party are clearly stipulated in the collective bargaining agreement, the risk of one party’s interests being met at the expense of the other is real. A good example of how the issue of employer rights is featured in collective bargaining agreement occurred at one of the General Motors plants in Tonawanda where the management and workers agreed to work as partners rather than as antagonists (Pritchard Para
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