Collective Bargaining Agreements

Topics: Negotiation, Collective bargaining, Trade union Pages: 5 (1339 words) Published: April 11, 2013
A collective bargaining process generally consists of four types of activities- distributive bargaining, integrative bargaining, attitudinal restructuring and intra-organizational bargaining. Srivastava,(2007) states the following types collective bargaining Distributive bargainingIt involves haggling over the distribution of surplus. Under it, the economic issues like wages, salaries and bonus are discussed. In distributive bargaining, one party’s gain is another party’s loss. This is most commonly explained in terms of a pie. Disputants can work together to make the pie bigger, so there is enough for both of them to have as much as they want, or they can focus on cutting the pie up, trying to get as much as they can for themselves. In general, distributive bargaining tends to be more competitive. This type of bargaining is also known as conjunctive bargaining|

Integrative bargaining
This involves negotiation of an issue on which both the parties may gain, or at least neither party loses. For example, representatives of employer and employee sides may bargain over the better training program me or a better job evaluation method. Here, both the parties are trying to make more of something. In general, it tends to be more cooperative than distributive bargaining. This type of bargaining is also known as cooperative bargaining.

Attitudinal restructuring
This involves shaping and reshaping some attitudes like trust or distrust, friendliness or hostility between labor and management. When there is a backlog of bitterness between both the parties, attitudinal restructuring is required to maintain smooth and harmonious industrial relations. It develops a bargaining environment and creates trust and cooperation among the parties.

Intra-organization bargaining
It generally aims at resolving internal conflicts. This is a type of maneuvering to achieve consensus with the workers and management. Even within the union, there may be differences between groups. For example, skilled workers may feel that they are neglected or women workers may feel that their interests are not looked after properly. Within the management also, there may be differences. Trade unions maneuver to achieve consensus among the conflicting groups.

The collective bargaining process comprises of five core steps:

1. Prepare

 This phase involves composition of a negotiation team. The negotiation team should consist of representatives of both the parties with adequate knowledge and skills for negotiation. In this phase both the employer’s representatives and the union examine their own situation in order to develop the issues that they believe will be most important. The first thing to be done is to determine whether there is actually any reason to negotiate at all. A correct understanding of the main issues to be covered and intimate knowledge of operations, working conditions, production norms and other relevant conditions is required

2. Discuss

Here, the parties decide the ground rules that will guide the negotiations. A process well begun is half done and this is no less true in case of collective bargaining. An environment of mutual trust and understanding is also created so that the collective bargaining agreement would be reached.

3. Propose

 This phase involves the initial opening statements and the possible options that exist to resolve them. In a word, this phase could be described as ‘brainstorming’. The exchange of messages takes place and opinion of both the parties is sought.

4. Bargain

Negotiations are easy if a problem solving attitude is adopted. This stage comprises the time when ‘what ifs’ and ‘supposals’ are set forth and the drafting of agreements take place.

5. Settlement

Once the parties are through with the bargaining process, a consensual agreement is reached upon wherein both the parties agree to a common decision regarding the problem or the issue. This stage is described as consisting of...
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