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A collective agreement, collective labour agreement (CLA) or collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is a written contract negotiated through
collective bargaining Collective bargaining is a process of negotiation between employers and a group of employees aimed at agreements to regulate working salaries, working conditions, benefits, and other aspects of workers' compensation and rights for workers. The ...
for employees by one or more
trade union A trade union (labor union in American English), often simply referred to as a union, is an organization of workers intent on "maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment", ch. I such as attaining better wages and benefits ( ...
s with the management of a company (or with an
employers' association An employers' organization or employers' association is a collective organization of manufacturers, retailers, or other employers of wage labor. Employers' organizations seek to coordinate the behavior of their member companies in matters of mutual ...
) that regulates the terms and conditions of employees at work. This includes regulating the wages, benefits, and duties of the employees and the duties and responsibilities of the employer or employers and often includes rules for a dispute resolution process.


Finland

In
Finland Finland ( fi, Suomi ; sv, Finland ), officially the Republic of Finland (; ), is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It shares land borders with Sweden to the northwest, Norway to the north, and Russia to the east, with the Gulf of Bot ...
, collective labour agreements are universally valid. This means that a collective agreement in an economic sector becomes a universally applicable legal minimum for any individual's employment contract, whether or not they are a union member. For this condition to apply, half of the workforce in that sector needs to be union members, thus supporting the agreement. Workers are not forced to join a union in a specific
workplace A workplace is a location where someone works, for their employer or themselves, a place of employment. Such a place can range from a home office to a large office building or factory. For industrialized societies, the workplace is one of t ...
. Nevertheless, with 70% average unionization, most economic sectors are under a collective labour agreement. An agreement does not prohibit higher wages and better benefits, but establishes a legal minimum, similarly to a
minimum wage A minimum wage is the lowest remuneration that employers can legally pay their employees—the price floor below which employees may not sell their labor. Most countries had introduced minimum wage legislation by the end of the 20th century. B ...
. Furthermore, a national income policy agreement is often, but not always reached, which includes all
trade union A trade union (labor union in American English), often simply referred to as a union, is an organization of workers intent on "maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment", ch. I such as attaining better wages and benefits ( ...
s, employers’ associations, and the Finnish government.


Germany

Collective agreements in Germany are legally binding, and this is accepted by the population, and it causes no alarm. Whereas in the UK there was (and arguably still is) a "them and us" attitude in industrial relations, the situation is very different in post-war Germany and in some other Northern European countries. In Germany, there is a much greater spirit of cooperation between the two sides of industry. For over 50 years, German workers by law have had representation on company boards. Together, management and workers are considered "social partners".


Sweden

In Sweden about 90 per cent of all employees are covered by collective agreements, in the private sector 83 per cent (2017). Collective agreements usually contain provisions concerning minimum wages. Sweden does not have statutory regulation of minimum wages or legislation on extension of collective agreements to unorganized employers. Non-organized employers can sign substitute agreements directly with trade unions, but many do not. The Swedish model of self-regulation applies only to workplaces and employees covered by collective agreements.


United Kingdom

At
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent, judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions."The common law is not a brooding omniprese ...
, Ford v A.U.E.F. 969 the courts once held that collective agreements were not binding. Then, the Industrial Relations Act 1971, introduced by
Robert Carr Leonard Robert Carr, Baron Carr of Hadley, (11 November 1916 – 17 February 2012) was a British Conservative Party politician who served as Home Secretary from 1972 to 1974. He served as a Member of Parliament (MP) for 26 years, and later se ...
(Employment Minister in
Edward Heath Sir Edward Richard George Heath (9 July 191617 July 2005), often known as Ted Heath, was a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1970 to 1974 and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1965 to 1975. Heath ...
's cabinet), provided that collective agreements were binding unless a written contract clause declared otherwise. After the demise of the Heath government, the law was reversed to reflect the tradition in British industrial relations policy of legal abstentionism from workplace disputes. The law is now contained in the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 s.179, whereby In the United Kingdom, collective agreements are conclusively deemed to be not legally binding. This presumption may be rebutted when the agreement is in writing and contains an explicit provision asserting that it should be legally enforceable. Although the collective agreement itself is not enforceable, many of the terms negotiated will relate to pay, conditions, holidays, pensions and so on. These terms will be incorporated into an employee's contract of employment (whether or not the employee is a union member); and the contract of employment is, of course, enforceable. If the new terms are unacceptable to any individuals, they can object to his employer; but if the majority of workers have acquiesced, the company will be able to sack the complainants, normally with impunity. The British law reflects the historic adversarial nature of UK industrial relations. Also, there is a background fear by employees that if their trade union sued for breach of a collective agreement, the union could become bankrupt, leaving employees without representation in collective bargaining. This unfortunate situation may be slowly changing, partly through EU influences. Japanese and Chinese firms that have UK factories (particularly in the motor industry) try to imbue their workers with the company ethic. This approach has been adopted by indigenous UK firms such as
Tesco Tesco plc () is a British multinational groceries and general merchandise retailer headquartered in Welwyn Garden City, England. In 2011 it was the third-largest retailer in the world measured by gross revenues and the ninth-largest in th ...
.


United States

The United States recognizes collective bargaining agreements.


See also

* Intention to be legally bound * Labour economics *
Labour law Labour laws (also known as labor laws or employment laws) are those that mediate the relationship between workers, employing entities, trade unions, and the government. Collective labour law relates to the tripartite relationship between employee ...
* MLB Collective Bargaining Agreement, an agreement between the
Major League Baseball Players Association The Major League Baseball Players Association (or MLBPA) is the union representing all current Major League Baseball players. All players, managers, coaches, and athletic trainers who hold or have held a signed contract with a Major League c ...
and the
Major League Baseball Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization and the oldest major professional sports league in the world. MLB is composed of 30 total teams, divided equally between the National League (NL) and the American League (AL ...
. * MLS Collective Bargaining Agreement, an agreement between the
MLS Players Association The MLS Players Association, also referred to as the MLSPA, is the union of professional Major League Soccer players. The MLS Players Association serves as the exclusive collective bargaining agreements representative for all current players in ...
, and the
Major League Soccer Major League Soccer (MLS) is a men's professional soccer league sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation, which represents the sport's highest level in the United States. The league comprises 29 teams—26 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada ...
. * MLR Collective Bargaining Agreement, an agreement between the United States Rugby Players Association, and the
Major League Rugby Major League Rugby (MLR or USMLR) is a professional rugby union competition and the top-level championship for clubs in North America. In the 2022 season it was contested by thirteen teams: twelve from the United States and one from Canada. Off ...
. * NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement, an agreement between the
National Basketball Players Association The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) is a labor union that represents National Basketball Association (NBA) players. It was founded in 1954, making it the oldest trade union of the four major professional sports leagues in the Unit ...
and the
National Basketball Association The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball league in North America. The league is composed of 30 teams (29 in the United States and 1 in Canada) and is one of the major professional sports leagues in the United ...
. * NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, an agreement between the
National Football League Players Association The National Football League Players Association, or NFLPA, is a labor union representing National Football League (NFL) players. The NFLPA, which has headquarters in Washington, D.C., is led by president J. C. Tretter and executive director D ...
and the
National Football League The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league that consists of 32 teams, divided equally between the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC). The NFL is one of the ma ...
. *
NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement The NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is the basic contract between the National Hockey League (NHL) (32 team owners and NHL commissioner) and the NHL Players' Association (NHLPA), designed to be arrived at through the typical labour ...
, an agreement between the
National Hockey League Players' Association NHLPA (french: AJLNH) is the trade union, labour union for the group of professional List of NHL players, hockey players who are under Standard Player Contracts to the 32 member clubs in the National Hockey League (NHL) located in the United Stat ...
and the
National Hockey League The National Hockey League (NHL; french: Ligue nationale de hockey—LNH, ) is a professional ice hockey league in North America comprising 32 teams—25 in the United States and 7 in Canada. It is considered to be the top ranked professional ...
. * CFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, an agreement between the Canadian Football League Players' Association and the
Canadian Football League The Canadian Football League (CFL; french: Ligue canadienne de football—LCF) is a professional sports league in Canada. The CFL is the highest level of competition in Canadian football. The league consists of nine teams, each located in a ci ...
.


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Collective Agreement Collective agreements