Collective Bargaining

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BUS251 EMPLOYEE RELATIONS
Week 7 Collective bargaining

Collective bargaining
• Negotiation about wages & conditions of work • Between an employer & representatives of employees (usually a union) • Non union – work directly with MOM • Labour inspectors work with employers on back pay and termination issues • Hearing before Com of Labour if necessary under EA • With the aim of arriving at an agreement

Bilateral
• Usually no third party
• Can have a third party assist bargaining with conciliation, even arbitration

• Right to be represented

• Legal status of agreement (later slide) • Legality of behaviour of negotiating parties • Bargaining processes & tactics may be regulated

Benefits
1. Provides a method to discuss issues on working conditions

2. Mutual assurance of agreement on issues
3. High labour costs impact consumers

4. Singapore –macro view –key consideration for NWC

Power balance
• Bargaining power tested in CB processes
• Collective action of employees gives power
• Ability of employer to stand down employees gives power • Size of employee group/employer can indicate power

Incidence of CB
• % of employees covered by collective agreements
• Industry prevalence differs

Approaches
1. Behavioral (strength in numbers /same for employers)

2. Economic (collective bargaining depends on labor market supply) 3. Legal – implementing agreements reached by government.

Conditions for CB
• Freedom of association (allowing free representation) • Representation - stability of union (exercise authority over workers, represent them) • Good faith bargaining • • • • • Respect for other party Timely interactions Appropriate responses to proposals Transparent, honest & full disclosures No capricious behaviours

Legislative restriction
• Scope & coverage of bargaining
• Restrictions on what may be bargained about

• Also on what that are “non-negotiable”
• Recognise legitimate vis a vis non legitimate “nonnegotiable” • Restrictions on who may be covered by an agreement or may not be covered and why • What happens to area that are not covered – who and how to deal with them

Negotiation
• Aim is to enable a joint activity that can’t be engaged in without the other party • Social behaviour involving • Communication (how you communicate, type of language used – threatening or problem solving) • Interpersonal behaviour • Information exchange (timing and types and amount if information exchange critical, “show hand” moment , indicates trust between parties) • Decision making – complex dependency on the above factors)

• If successful, there is no dispute

Negotiation
•Preparation
• Collate current information • Set agenda

•Presentation
• Clear presentation of issues to be agreed on • Set times for responses

• Determine starting positions • Define goals
• Appreciate other party’s position • Draft possible strategies/tactics

• Remain flexible

Negotiation
•Compromise
• Respond to proposals

•Agree
• Concession making

• Deal with objections
- With counter proposals

-When to give away
-How much or how little

- Stall for time
- Appears belligerent • Identify compatible interests • Investigate moving position on particular issues

• Clarify bases of agreement
- Areas of agreement

- Areas of disagreement and how to resolve them
- No resolution – can the negotiation continue

Dispute resolution
• Conciliation
• Independent third party facilitates resolution by clarifying issues, developing options, advises on content of dispute, makes suggestions, meets separately with parties to aid progress, in effort to reach an agreement

• Mediation
• Independent third party facilitates dispute resolution by identifying disputed issues, developing options, but has no advisory or determinative role, in effort to reach agreement

Arbitration
• Adversary process

• Used where other methods of dispute resolution have failed • Independent third...
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