08 Mar

8 March 2023

The practice of negotiating between employers and employees to agree on matters that impact upon them at work (and home in regard to salaries and wages) is known as collective bargaining. Both the formal and informal economies may be affected by this. Workers’ organizations or trade unions promote employees’ interests during collective bargaining.

Workers join trade unions so that these organisations may address concerns and defend them from potential workplace exploitation. Without a solid collective bargaining function, organisations won’t be able to meet their goals of representing workers.

The core of collective bargaining is the negotiation process. A union enters into negotiations with an employer in order to conclude a collective bargaining agreement that benefits its members in an socio-economic sense. There is a consensus occasionally, but only sometimes. When no compromise is possible, it is referred to as a dispute, and the parties might then ask a neutral third party to mediate or arbitrate on an interest –type basis.

The four phases of collective bargaining:

  1. Preparation

 Preparation is the key to negotiation success and an essential step in the collective bargaining process. Being prepared makes the difference between being reactive and proactive. The benefit of being prepared is that negotiators can better steer the issues and difficulties that arise. Union representatives will already be equipped with the necessary knowledge and have brainstormed various options. Research in respect of the economic circumstances of the country industry and or sector of the economy. Economic indicators play a large role in the preparation and subsequent phases.

  1. Negotiation

 Negotiators converse with the opposing party directly across the negotiating table to reach the most favourable agreements for their constituents. Everything completed during the initial phase, including the hours of consultation and planning, pays off in the end. Along with the rest of the team, they are well-equipped and possess the necessary information.

To avoid confusion if there is a disagreement, negotiators might obtain an agreement “in principle” if they concur with some of the demands made by the other party. While considering the kind of agreement the parties wish to make, it is crucial to maintain an open mind. For instance, the agreement must be inclusive and provide an agreeable resolution to all sides (cover all workers, including workers in vulnerable sectors).

  1. Agreement

Negotiators study and comprehend each provision of the agreement before signing. Share the deal for review, amendment, or feedback with their constituency, leadership, and legal department. The contract should be stored safely for future use. With their team, they reflect on the discussions and handle any difficulties throughout the talks.

Negotiators return to the workers to continue their conversation about the future if an agreement cannot be reached. The workers must consider the prospect of filing a dispute if no workable compromise can be seen.

  1. Implementation

 An agreement must be successfully implemented to be enforceable. The negotiators conduct follow-ups to ensure the collective bargaining agreement is followed. Their constituents or members are also given access to the final agreement(s).

Becoming a member of a trade union strengthens unity numbers and solidarity assist worker’s hurdles  to in understanding their rights at work, making it simpler to strive or fight for improved working conditions and any other potential problems, including collective bargaining. UASA urges all employees to review the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and the Labour Relations Act to understand their rights at work better.

Ensuring that you receive proper compensation and benefits in line with your work is essential for every employee in the work environment. To join UASA, kindly contact us at www.uasa.org.za or send an email to pr@uasa.org.za

Ref: www.lrs.org.za                                        www.uasa.org.za






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