Collective Bargaining (Advantages and Disadvantages)
A negotiation made between employees and their employers to reach an agreement that regulates working conditions is what constitutes collective bargaining. The agreement reached by both parties is set out in working hours, health and safety, wages, training grievance mechanisms, overtime among many more. Quite often than not, employees are joined together in a trade union so as to make such agreements with their employers. Consequently, there are advantages and disadvantages of collective bargaining.
The first advantage of collective bargaining is that it increases the wages and productivity of the company. When workers are paid to their satisfaction, it is almost certain that they will put their all in the performance hence improving productivity and as such large profits for the company. Another advantage is that it offers a voice for the workers. The trade unions have members in virtually every place of its jurisdiction. As a result, the unions have enough members to ensure that lobbying for rights becomes successful. The large number of members enhances the workers’ voice. It is apparent that if such a large number of workers come out to ask for better working conditions, they will get what they want or something there about. A third advantage is that collective bargaining promotes cooperation in the work place. Since negotiations are done in good faith, both parties have to negotiate for the benefit of all of them. Employers look at a consistent production with a view to maintain profits and remain in business. The need for such a balance is what promotes productions.
Another advantage of collective bargain is that it can be changed. Every CBA must have an end date. If a bad deal is made without careful thought, it will be upon the workers and employers to be patient and wait for the end date so that they can negotiate a new contract. In certain circumstances, there can be a provision in the CBA that allows for the changing of parts of the CBA in its operation time. The fifth advantage of collective bargaining is that it creates a binding result. Once an agreement has been reached, both parties become a part of it. If any of the parties does not perform to the stipulated agreements, then legal actions can be taken against them. The binding factor provides security for both parties to defend their positions.
The first disadvantage of collective bargaining is that it requires dues’ payment. Unions conduct numerous activities that are geared towards uplifting the standards of their members who are workers. Such activities require funding which has to come from the members themselves. Some unions have devised ways of getting such funding by deducting a fee from the member’s salary on an annual or monthly basis taking to account what is stipulated in their constitutions. A second disadvantage of collective bargaining is that it does not present fair representation. Unions represent both unionized works and non-unionized workers equally. As such, non-unionized members enjoy benefits that they do not pay dues to hence bringing a question of unfair representation.
Another disadvantage of collective bargaining is that it comes at a cost. There is a cost of lost productivity owing to the fact that both employers and employees spend time to negotiate other than devoting time to work. Sometimes the CBAs’ may be lengthy thus it will require that workers take their time to read and understand before sticking a deal. By this, worker’s availability becomes minimal as the negotiations continue. A fourth disadvantage of collective bargaining is that it can change the environment of the workplace. The process of collective bargaining is often than not politically charged. Productivity is affected when union members start focusing on who is a union members and who is not in an organization.
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