Understanding Collective Bargaining

Understanding Collective Bargaining 4

To better comprehend the need for and importance of collectivebargaining one has to review its most basic definition. Collectivebargaining occurs when a group of individuals mainly employees undera certain category negotiate as a single harmonized unit with theiremployer. This collaboration leads to the choosing of representativeswho in turn approach their employers with the concerns of theirgroup. These negotiations mainly arise from working conditions, payand benefits awarded to the employees (Najita and Stern, 2001). Theconcept of collective bargaining stems out from the idea that whenemployees come together as a group they have more bargaining powerrather than negotiating individually.

Today in the United States, collective bargaining receives majoritysupport from citizens both working and not working. Collectivebargaining is envisioned as a fundamental human right that promotesmost of the First amendments freedoms such as speech and association.Collective bargaining levels the playing field between management andlabour giving employees a meaningful sit and some influence at thebargaining table. Prospects that are achievable through collectivebargaining include career advancement opportunities, fair performancerating systems, job flexibility, maintenance of quality control,whistle blower protection and most commonly salary adjustments(Najitaand Stern, 2001).

The law supports collective bargaining by giving the people a rightto join trade unions that protect their interests. These unions arethe representatives from collective bargaining whose duty is toadvocate and negotiate on behalf of their members. Some punditsenvision unions as a hindrance to economic productivity andprosperity. These people depict collective bargaining to beinterfering with the natural course of a free market system. Theybelieve that employees join unions solely due to their wages.However, this is not factual as unions protect their members from farmore unsuitable conditions and not only wages. Collective bargainingis the only loaded gun in an employee’s arsenal that protects themfrom their employers.


Najita, J. M., &amp Stern, J. L. (2001).Collective bargaining inthe public sector: The experience of eight states. Armonk, NY[u.a.: M.E. Sharpe.