bargaining unit

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A bargaining unit or group is a set of employees who are recognized for collective bargaining by an employer and have their terms of employment set through the same collective agreement. A bargaining unit might comprise all or a proportion of employees within a particular industry, enterprise, establishment, or occupation. The decentralization of collective bargaining, however, means that most bargaining units are made up of employees in the same class of employment within a particular enterprise or workplace; for example, production operatives within a manufacturing company, or supervisory, clerical, and technical grades within a business unit of an insurance firm. The UK's statutory recognition procedure confers recognition on workers within a designated bargaining unit. Where there is a dispute between an employer and an employee over the extent of the unit (i.e. over which workers should be included), this can be referred to the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) for adjudication. In making its decision, the CAC must take into account a number of factors including the views of the employer and trade union, the need to avoid excessive fragmentation of bargaining, and the compatibility of the unit with ‘effective management’.

Subjects: Human Resource Management.

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