Samuel Gompers made history by leading the way for American workers to focus less on social issues and negotiate for the important issues involved in collective bargaining. (Yellowitz, 1989). Collective Bargaining refers to negotiations between an employer and a group of employees to determine conditions of employment such as wages, working hours, overtime, holiday, sick leave, vacation time, retirement benefits, health care, and the list goes on. Collective bargaining is bilateral negotiations between labor and management teams over wages terms and conditions of employment. The result of collective bargaining is a document specifying each side's respective rights and obligations known as a collective bargaining agreement. Before beginning the negotiation process, it is important who to include in the bargaining team to represent management. In larger organizations there may be a designated Human Resource or Labor Relations professional, in that specific role, to lead the bargaining team. (Ashe-Edmunds, n.d.). In smaller agencies, especially in statutory planning cities, the city administrator or City Council may lead the bargaining team either directly or indirectly. The bargaining team may also include appropriate department heads or managers.
The Rights and Duties of Employees and How they Affect the Corporation Workflow It's important to note that all meetings negotiations, mediation sessions, and hearings between the union and management are public meetings. When you know that what you are negotiating for is right and beneficial, it is important to know your strategy and plan. Peter J. McGuire was a political activist who is credited with first proposing the idea of Labor Day as a national holiday and the eight-hour work day. ( Erlich, 1983). Every idea begins with negotiation and that is how vital changes are implemented. Regardless of who's chosen for your bargaining team, the team itself should meet before negotiations have started to decide parameters for bargaining. The team should understand what type of wage or benefit increases are viable for the contract period and what other types of provisions the team is likely to accept or reject. They should choose a chief spokesperson and allow that person to do the speaking for the team at the bargaining table. Economic Policy Institute reports in 2012 that the decline of union membership is allowing employers to undercut low and middle wage workers. Nowadays labor unions in the US are suffering from very low membership. Union membership has declined by about fifty percent over the last forty years. (Ashe-Edmunds, n.d.) Many economists think the decline in membership is an important factor due to the drop in wages adjusted for inflation. Productivity of US workers has risen by eighty percent over the past three decades, but hourly wages have only risen by eleven percent.
- Summer '14
- Trade union, Samuel Gompers, Peter J. McGuire