Collective Bargaining: Behavioral Factors Influencing Union Bargaining Power - Page 6

Building an effective bargaining committee

Building an effective bargaining committee

The primary factors for the determination of who will serve on the bargaining committee are the constitution and by-laws of the organization. Some unions require bargaining committees to be elected while others provide for ex officio or appointed service. No matter how a committee is constituted, it is important that the members of that committee remember that their responsibility is to represent all members of the bargaining unit, not just those of a particular subgroup within the local. A person, for example, may become a member of a bargaining committee as a skilled trades representative (either elected or appointed), but once on the committee that member is a representative of the entire membership.

This is important to remember when key elements or subgroups of the membership are not specifically represented on the committee. A bargaining committee cannot include representation from all real or potential subgroups of members. There should be no missing voices on the committee even if there are important groups of members without designated representation.