Collective bargaining is the act of a union negotiating a strong, unified contract on behalf of its members in a bargaining unit. It is the process where a trade union and an employer negotiate a new collective agreement or the renewal of a previous collective agreement. The issues that are often addressed are wages, working conditions, grievance procedures, and fringe benefits.
The collective agreement is the written contract of employment, which covers a group of employees who are represented by the union and who belong to a bargaining unit. It contains the provisions concerning the terms and conditions of their employment, in addition to the rights, privileges, and duties of the employer, union, and employees.
Once a trade union is certified, it will provide the employer with written notice of its desire to bargain. Once the written notice is provided, the employer and union have to commence negotiations within a certain period.
Further, where a previous collective agreement already binds a union and employer, there are two options in which either party can provide notice to bargain. The first is within a statutorily mandated number of days before the agreement is due to expire, and the second is during any other period which is set out in the agreement.
Once a collective agreement is reached, both the union and the employer become legally bound by its terms.
How can Zeilikman Law help?
Our experienced labour lawyers can assist with the collective bargaining process, including drafting, revising, and reviewing the collective agreement.
Our lawyers can provide assistance with preparing bargaining proposals, the strategy and tactics of effective negotiation, conducting and leading collective agreement negotiations, and the language that is used in the agreements.
At Zeilikman Law, we understand the many disputes that can arise throughout the collective agreement bargaining process. Such disputes can include complaints arising out of bad faith bargaining, wage-related issues, administrative issues, and first contract arbitration proceedings.