Types of Agreement in Collective Bargaining

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Collective bargaining is a process where employees, through their unions, negotiate with employers to determine the terms and conditions of their working conditions. These negotiations usually center on wages, benefits, hours of work, and other job-related issues. When the union and the employer agree on the terms and conditions of the agreement, it becomes a legally binding document that both parties must adhere to. In this article, we will discuss the different types of agreements that can be reached through collective bargaining.

1. Voluntary Agreement

This is the most common type of agreement reached through collective bargaining. In this case, the employer agrees to the demands put forward by the union, and both parties sign the agreement. The terms and conditions of the agreement usually include wages, benefits, hours of work, and other job-related issues.

2. Mediated Agreement

In situations where the union and the employer cannot reach an agreement, they may call in a mediator. The mediator is an independent third party who helps both parties come to a mutually acceptable agreement. The mediator does not have the power to impose a resolution, but he or she can help the parties find common ground.

3. Arbitrated Agreement

In cases where the mediator is unable to help the parties reach an agreement, they may agree to arbitration. In arbitration, a neutral third party is appointed to hear both sides of the dispute and make a binding decision. The arbitrator’s decision is final, and both parties must accept it.

4. Imposed Agreement

When negotiations fail, and neither mediation nor arbitration is successful, the union may call for a strike or lockout. If the government deems the strike or lockout to be a threat to the public interest, it can impose a settlement. In this case, the government appoints a mediator-arbitrator who has the power to impose a settlement that both parties must accept.

5. Multi-Year Agreement

A multi-year agreement is one where the terms and conditions of the agreement are reached for more than one year. This type of agreement is usually reached when both parties want to avoid negotiating every year. Multi-year agreements provide stability and predictability for both parties.

In conclusion, collective bargaining is an important process that helps employees negotiate with their employers to determine the terms and conditions of their working conditions. The type of agreement reached through collective bargaining depends on the negotiations between the union and the employer. The most common types of agreements are voluntary agreements, mediated agreements, arbitrated agreements, imposed agreements, and multi-year agreements.

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