Negotiating collective agreements is the single most critical responsibility for both Management and Union. The process and the results of the collective agreement have the potential to destroy the relationship between the parties. It can also alter how effectively Management can manage its workplace, as well as the Union's ability to represent the interests of its members. Ultimately, this single business contract can lead to the success or the demise of the organization, and the viability of the membership. How this process is managed and the resulting collective agreement will determine your success.
Collective bargaining is a complex process between two opposing interests. On one side, you have Management who must meet organizational and financial objectives. They must ensure the profitability and even survivability of their organization. Increases in labour budgets and limitations on their management rights can, in some circumstances, lead to the demise of the organization. On the other side, the Union, by legislation, must protect not only the economic welfare of its members, but must ensure that employees are treated fairly and that they work in a safe environment. Failure to properly represent its members can also jeopardize the strength of a Union.