October 23, 2018

This is why you need to sign a CBA with your employer

By Telford Aduda


Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is a legally enforceable contract for a specified period of time, between a management of an organization and its employees represented by an independent trade union. CBA sets down and defines conditions of employment (wages, working hours and conditions, overtime payments, holidays, vacations, benefits, etc.) and procedures for dispute resolution.

Image source: Hongkiat.com

This is what allows you to be heard in your workplace on issues that affects you, or affects your work because it allows you and other professionals to come together and be heard.

Through collective bargaining, you can actually earn and maintain middle-class wage; have access to benefits, including health and pension; and bargain on issues that allow you to do your job right. Collective bargaining agreement allows you as an employee to preserve workplace integrity and respect, and create safe, professional, and rewarding work environment. 

One goal of collective bargaining is for workers to be heard on non-compensation issues (Independence, Professional growth, Recognition and appreciation, Flexible schedules and work and life balance), since agreements addressing non-compensation issues are not written in a one-size-fits-all manner, the agreement reflects issues of particular concern to the union members.

Collective bargaining agreements in some countries allows for the creation of Labor-Management Committees (LMCs), which are made up of equal number of union appointees and management appointees. The purpose is to allow the union and the employer to raise workplace concerns. LMCs tend to be informal and protected settings where employee and employer concerns can be brought for resolution. An employee raising a concern can usually do so anonymously through a union representative.

The terms for every collective bargaining agreement are different, because the workers affected by the agreement have unique concerns. For example, the issue of Health and safety for teachers in Kenya is likely to be different from those for doctors. Collective bargaining offers workers an opportunity to use their combined expertise to address workplace issues that directly affect them in their workplace.

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