Edited: 13.02.2015 - 08:53
Keywords: Collective agreement
Collective agreement negotiations
How collective agreements are made
Proposals for new collective agreements requested from local branches
When a collective agreement period is drawing to a close, local trade union branches are invited to make proposals for new collective agreements. PAM’s agreement experts prepare a summary of the local branch proposals for discussion by the Agreement Sector Commissions.
Discussion of proposals for new collective agreements
The PAM Agreement Sector Commissions discuss the proposals made by local branches and make further specifications.
Termination of valid collective agreements
The valid collective agreements must be terminated. Decisions on termination of agreements are made by the PAM Board. Valid collective agreements are usually terminated two months before the end of the current agreement period.
In many cases, at least the qualitative agreement targets are submitted to the employer party at the same time as current collective agreements are being terminated; pay-rise targets may only be submitted later. The employer organizations will also submit their own proposals for new collective agreements.
After termination of collective agreements
When the term of notice for the collective agreements expires, the parties enter into an interval without collective agreements, unless new agreements have been concluded by that time. During any such interval, the provisions of an old collective agreement will apply until a new agreement has been concluded. This is known as the ‘after-effect’.
During an interval without a collective agreement, there is no obligation to maintain industrial peace, which means that there is a possibility of industrial action, i.e. strikes – and they are also likely if this interval drags on.
During negotiations, the Agreement Sector Commissions discuss the status of negotiations. The PAM Board also deals with the status of negotiations on a regular basis. Negotiations are conducted between the representatives of PAM and the relevant employer organization based on their respective targets, until the parties reach an outcome that is acceptable to both.
Reaching negotiation results
The results of negotiations are dealt with by the Agreement Sector Commissions.
The PAM Board accepts or rejects the final negotiation results based on the proposals by the Agreement Sector Commissions. The decision on a negotiation result may also be passed on to the Representative Assembly, or it may be subjected to a consultative vote among those members covered by the agreement being negotiated.
The employer party must also accept the final negotiation results.
New agreements for members
The new collective agreements are printed and uploaded to the website. Members can order the collective agreement covering their own sector online.
When the agreements become valid, it is important to ensure that the terms and conditions will benefit employees to their full extent, in other words, that the agreed improvements will be implemented at workplaces. Therefore, each employee should always check that their wages and salaries are paid correctly and in accordance with the new collective agreement. Otherwise, negotiations have been in vain.