Identify Terms and Conditions that Must or Should be Negotiated in a Collective Bargaining Agreement

Key Points

  • There are typically three subject areas of collective bargaining: mandatory; permissive; and illegal. An employer's failure to distinguish between the three categories and refusal to discuss certain terms and conditions of employment may subject it to an unfair labor practice.
  • A mandatory bargaining subject concerns any issues that include wages, hours, health care coverage and other vital terms and conditions of employment. An employer must be aware that it is required to address and discuss terms and conditions of employment regarded as mandatory subjects of employment with the good faith intent on reaching a resolution.
  • An employer is not required to bargain terms of employment are regarded as permissive subjects, e.g., scope of bargaining unit. The refusal to meet and discuss a permissive subject does not subject an employer or union to an unfair labor practice. Finally, an employer or union cannot be compelled to request or require an illegal subject of bargaining, e.g. "hiring hall" provision, to be addressed during collective negotiations.

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