April 21, 2021

Benefits of Collective Bargaining

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Collective bargaining is an agreement between a union and employer, codified with a written and signed document. Through collective bargaining, educators are empowered as professionals to have input on teaching conditions, career compensation and educational practices. It is a process through which both parties sit down to talk about and come to agreement on issues of mutual concern, educators. Let’s face it. There’s power in numbers when educators have the freedom to stand together.

Here are some of the benefits of collective bargaining:

Level playing field – Having a binding contract that lays out enforceable rights puts educators on a more even playing field with administrators, so everyone in the school community is working together and knows their rights and obligations.

Just cause for discipline and nonrenewal – Knowing there is fairness and objectivity in discipline and dismissal allows teachers to openly share their professional opinions, advocate for sound educational practices and stand up for students without fear of repercussions.

Objective, predictable salary systems – The ability to negotiate over all compensation provides stability for students and educators in schools, resulting in less staff turnover and a clear path forward for educators and their families.

More control over professional time – Collective bargaining agreements are not just about pay and benefits. They include working conditions including day start and end times, preparation time, school calendars, meeting requirements, personal days and more.

Reasonable workloads – In collective bargaining negotiations, both sides come to agreement on the amount of mandatory duties educators are required perform, along with the associated compensation, so everyone is clear about their roles and responsibilities.

Input in health care decisions – Negotiations include how much educators pay in health care contributions, deductibles and co-pays, and also requirements for wellness programs.

Work assignments and transfers – Contracts generally include a fair and transparent process for both.

Fair layoff and recall system – Contracts generally include a fair and objective process for deciding who is reduced when there is a budget crisis and their rights to return.

Through collective bargaining, educators experience the respect and professional influence we deserve. Make it happen by joining together with Wisconsin Public School educators through your union today.