In Alberta, collective agreements play a crucial role in establishing fair working conditions and wages for employees covered by a union. A collective agreement is a legally binding contract between an employer and a union that outlines the terms and conditions of employment. This agreement covers a range of topics, such as hours of work, benefits, vacation entitlements, and wages.
Collective bargaining in Alberta is governed by the Alberta Labour Relations Code, which sets out the rights and obligations of employers, employees, and unions. Under this code, collective bargaining must be conducted in good faith and with a view to reaching a collective agreement.
Once a collective agreement is reached, it is binding on both parties for the duration of the agreement, typically two to four years. During this period, any disputes arising between the parties must be resolved through the grievance process outlined in the agreement.
Collective agreements in Alberta are negotiated by either a union or an employee bargaining unit, which is a group of employees who have designated a representative to negotiate on their behalf. The process of negotiating a collective agreement can take several months and involves extensive discussions between the union and the employer.
One of the key benefits of a collective agreement is that it provides employees with greater job security and stability. This is because the agreement sets out clear terms and conditions of employment, which cannot be changed without the consent of both parties.
In addition to job security, collective agreements also provide employees with a range of other benefits, such as better wages, improved working conditions, and increased benefits. This is because unions have the bargaining power to negotiate with employers on behalf of their members, and are often able to achieve better outcomes than individual employees would be able to secure on their own.
Overall, collective agreements are a crucial component of the labour relations landscape in Alberta. They provide employees with important protections and benefits, while also promoting stability and fairness in the workplace. If you are covered by a union, it is important to familiarize yourself with the terms of your collective agreement in order to fully understand your rights and responsibilities as an employee.