Collective bargaining is a term from German labor law and describes the negotiations between employer and employee representatives in an industry (usually employers' association and trade union ) with the aim of concluding a general or company collective agreement for a specific collective bargaining agreement for uniform remuneration and uniform working conditions. As a result, minimum standards for remuneration and working hours are agreed in the respective scope of the employees represented.
The state does not intervene here and thus recognizes the collective bargaining autonomy of the employer and employee representatives; it only provides orientation data and regulates the minimum standards for working conditions through laws.
Collective bargaining in the private sector takes place regionally, ie in the respective collective bargaining district. Exceptions are national top-level talks , as they have always been customary in the public service . However, negotiations can only begin when the old collective agreement has expired or has been terminated in good time . Trade unions and employers put forward their demands in the first round of negotiations. This is followed by - often long - negotiations, which are finally followed by a negotiated compromise on which the union and employer agree.
If the union and employers' association cannot come to an agreement, the unions organize warning strikes . However, there is a peace obligation , which states that strikes or warning strikes are contrary to the collective agreement for one month after the end of the current collective agreement . A strike vote takes place before a strike , whereby only the union members concerned are entitled to vote; a quorum of 75% "YES votes" is generally necessary for approval. In the case of a warning strike, on the other hand, no ballot is necessary.
If there is no agreement , an arbitration procedure can be carried out. Both parties to the collective bargaining agreement must agree to this procedure, only then can representatives of both parties and a neutral arbitrator sit down. Here, too, the duty of peace prevails. If this procedure also fails, there will be an industrial action with strikes and lockouts .
At the end there is the new collective agreement. Formally, it only applies to the members of the contracting parties, but is mostly also applied to non-members (of the trade unions / employers' associations).
The following can be regulated in it - if necessary within the framework of statutory provisions:
- Amount and structure of wages and salaries
- working hours
- Content, conclusion or termination of employment relationships
- other working conditions
- Duration of the collective agreement
- www.tarifvertrag.de - WSI tariff archive of the Hans Böckler Foundation
- Federal Statistical Office - Article on the subject of "collective bargaining round" from the monthly magazine "Wirtschaft und Statistik"