Collective bargaining is the preferred, statutorily established method for employees to participate in making the decisions that affect their working conditions. In collective bargaining there is an equal partnership between management and the employees, speaking through their union representatives, at least as to the matters the law requires be bargained. Agencies have to bargain with unions over all matters affecting working conditions, with certain exceptions.
Typically, however, collective bargaining agreement is used to describe the master contract, the document that covers a broad range of working conditions, and goes for two or three years without change. Then it is re-negotiated. Memoranda of Agreement usually cover single, less comprehensive subjects. They are often used to settle grievances. They don’t have any expiration dates; that means that they remain in effect until the parties agree otherwise.
The Master Collective Bargaining Agreement (MCBA) covers a mulititude of concerns and issues, including:
- The Rights of the Employer;
- Employee Rights;
- Employee Counselling and Assistance Program;
- Worker’s Compensation;
- Medical Examinations;
- Health and Safety;
- Hours of Work;
- Merit Promotion;
- Career Ladder Promotions;
- Position Classification;
- Reduction in Force (RIF) and Transfer of Function;
- Contracting Out; and
- Disciplinary and Adverse Actions.