Collective Bargaining Basics Toolkit
Resources to help employers comply with federal labor relations laws, including the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and Railway Labor Act (RLA), and engage in collective bargaining. This Toolkit provides resources to help employers prepare for and conduct collective bargaining, administer a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and manage a unionized workforce in light of continuing collective bargaining obligations.
In the private sector, labor relations, including relations with unions ( www.practicallaw.com/2-502-9592) , are principally governed by the National Labor Relations Act ( www.practicallaw.com/2-382-3640) (NLRA). The NLRA covers virtually all private sector employers (see NLRB Jurisdictional Limits and Standards Chart ( www.practicallaw.com/3-520-0846) ). The Railway Labor Act ( www.practicallaw.com/7-516-8509) (RLA), covers rail and air carriers and certain enterprises owned or under the control of those carriers.
The NLRA and RLA regulate how employers and unions negotiate collective bargaining agreements ( www.practicallaw.com/4-504-1300) (CBAs), the agreements setting out the terms and conditions of bargaining unit ( www.practicallaw.com/1-504-3640) members' employment. The law governing collective bargaining ( www.practicallaw.com/4-382-3347) is highly nuanced and this Toolkit provides resources that help employers understand:
Under what circumstances they must bargain.
What subjects they must, may, and may not negotiate.
Requirements for bargaining in good faith.
How to prepare for and lawfully undertake negotiations with unions.
Measures that employers and unions may take to advance their bargaining positions.
Common clauses and terms in CBAs.
This Toolkit also provides resources about the nuances of:
Meeting collective bargaining obligations that continue after CBAs have been negotiated.
Administering CBAs and resolving disputes about CBA interpretation.
Managing a unionized workforce in light of continuing collective bargaining obligations.
Enforcing CBAs' terms that have been breached.
In addition to these resources, for information about designing employment policies to comply with the NLRA and collective bargaining obligations, see Practice Note, Employee Handbooks: Best Practices: Compliance with the National Labor Relations Act ( www.practicallaw.com/4-513-9448) .
For in-depth analysis of negotiated CBAs and to compare provisions of those CBAs, see Box, Explore the What's Market Collective Bargaining Agreements Database and Generate Custom CBA Provision Comparison Reports.
Practice Note Overviews
Explore the What's Market Collective Bargaining Agreements Database and Generate Custom CBA Provision Comparison Reports
Parties interested in how other practitioners have drafted various CBA provisions should explore the What's Market Collective Bargaining Agreements Database. To quickly generate a report comparing any of the 60 points Practical Law has analyzed for each of the CBAs in the database:
Filter CBAs as desired.
Select CBAs to compare.
Click the "Compare" button.
Check the boxes next to any of the 60 comparison terms available for each CBA in the database (Deal, Employer, Union, Term, and Links are preselected).
If desired, change:
the layout of the Deal Comparison Report by clicking the "Organize Columns" button; or
the CBA provisions to be compared by selecting different terms.
Save your comparison report to a folder.
Download or email a Word or Excel copy of the report.