What is a Collective Bargaining Agreement?

A Collective Bargaining Agreement is a legally binding contract between your union, representing you and your fellow employees, and your employer. The agreement is established by the legal process of getting your union representatives, workers, and the employer together to negotiate in the best interest of the employees.

The Contract details the wages you are to receive, as well as any negotiated health and pension benefits, vacations, holidays and working conditions on the job. 

The union acts on your behalf to negotiate with your employer on the contract that covers your job. The Contract, also called the Collective Bargaining Agreement or CBA, details your rights and also your responsibilities as an employee and union member.

Workers United negotiates many CBAs with many different employers. All of these CBAs have one thing in common: they are all designed to protect your rights.

The most important right you have granted to you by your CBA is a guarantee of fair treatment on the job. Your Contract also protects you from harassment and from discrimination or favoritism in the way work is assigned, and usually addresses how promotions, layoffs and other issues are handled.

In order to be treated fairly, you must live up to your part of the Contract. That is why you should read your Contract carefully, and ask your Shop Steward, Business Agent or Representative to explain anything you don't understand. 

If you believe your rights have been violated by management, you should tell your Shop Steward, who is a fellow union member who has been selected to help protect your rights on the job.

Sometimes, you and your steward or union representatives can easily settle a problem by discussing it with management. Other times, it requires all the procedures in the union contract and the support of your fellow members to eventually win a fair solution.

Your employer's verbal promises are temporary.

A union contract is in writing and legally enforceable.