Labor Relations & Collective Bargaining
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a union?
A labor union is an organization that is the exclusive representative of a group of employees that negotiates with an employer on employment matters such as wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.
What is a collective bargaining agreement?
A collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) is a contract that is negotiated between an employer and a union. This document memorializes the working conditions, such as wages, benefits and hours of work, for employees in the bargaining unit covered by that particular CBA.
Who negotiates the collective bargaining agreement?
The university and the union establish their negotiating teams.
What does collective bargaining require of the union and the University?
The University and the unions are required to meet and negotiate in good faith over wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.
What laws apply to the collective bargaining process and unions?
The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) is the primary legislation that governs the collective bargaining process for private employers. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is responsible for enforcement of the Act.
How do I know if my position is covered by a collective bargaining agreement?
Collective bargaining agreements specifically indicate which positions are covered.
How are union dues or service fees established?
The amount of union dues and/or fees collected from employees represented by unions is set by the unions. Stanford University does not establish these fees. Unions typically seek to have employers deduct dues and/or fees directly from employees’ pay.
What does it mean that the union is the “exclusive representative” of the bargaining unit?
This means that all individuals included in the bargaining unit are represented by the union and subject to the terms and conditions negotiated in a collective bargaining agreement. The union is the “exclusive representative” of everyone in the bargaining unit on employment matters such as wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.
If a majority vote to be represented by the union and a collective bargaining agreement is in place, can a school/unit/department/PI vary from the terms of the collective bargaining agreement?
Because the union is the exclusive representative of the bargaining unit with regard to terms in the collective bargaining agreement, individual employees cannot decide to waive or vary from a CBA provision. Both the university and the union have an obligation to adhere to the terms of a collective bargaining agreement. Any agreement to waive or vary from any term of a collective bargaining agreement requires the agreement of the union and the university. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.