Defining of Collective Bargaining
Collective bargaining is a decision-making process through which union and
management negotiators determine the terms and conditions of employment for a specific group
of unionized workers.
The C98 Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention of 1949
1. Workers shall enjoy adequate protection against acts of anti-union
discrimination in respect of their employment.
2. Such protection shall apply more particularly in respect of acts calculated
(a) Make the employment of a worker subject to the condition that he shall not
join a union or shall relinquish trade union membership;
(b) Cause the dismissal of or otherwise prejudice a worker by reason of union
membership or because of participation in union activities outside working hours or, with the
consent of the employer, within working hours.
(c) Measures appropriate to national conditions shall be taken, where necessary,
to encourage and promote the full development and utilization of machinery for voluntary
negotiation between employers or employers' organizations and workers' organizations, with a
view to the regulation of terms and conditions of employment by means of collective
The essential characteristics of collective bargaining are that employees do not
negotiate individually, but do so collectively through representatives. It can only exist and
function by way of the following:
If employees identify a commonality
of purpose, organise and act in concert.
Where management recognize the workers’ organization, and accepts a change in
employment relationship which constrains them from dealing with individual
Collective Bargaining serves three (3) distinct
1. A market or economic function - outlines the substantive terms and conditions
under which a worker will be employed in an organization.
2. A governmental function – a body of rules and regulations (constitution)
governing determined by management/union negotiations. Implementation (executive authority)
rest with management and the grievance procedure serves as a judicial process.
3. A decision-making function – where workers are allowed, through their unions, to
participate in the determination of policies which affect the terms and conditions of their
Functions of Collective Bargaining;
Collective Bargaining brings into question the sanctity of the individual
contract of employment and superimposes upon it a collective agreement.
However the collective labour agreement does not replace but co-exists with the