collective bargaining


Definition of collective bargaining 

: negotiation between an employer and a labor union usually on wages, hours, and working conditions

Examples of collective bargaining in a Sentence

The next round of collective bargaining is scheduled for September.

Recent Examples on the Web

The Governor’s biggest achievement in eight years in office has been curbing the power of government unions by limiting collective bargaining to wages and requiring public employees to contribute more to their pensions and health care. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Scott Walker’s Education Dividend," 11 Oct. 2018 The book focuses on Act 10, the 2011 law that all but ended collective bargaining for most public workers in Wisconsin. Mary Spicuzza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Randy Bryce called unions lazy, said they had become dinosaurs before his congressional run," 2 July 2018 Workers can already opt out of full union membership and pay only for the cost of collective bargaining with the employer, but under right-to-work, employees could opt out of paying anything for the cost of representation. Allison Kite, kansascity, "Could Missouri's right-to-work vote be a 'turnaround' for labor? Unions hope so.," 10 July 2018 Teachers, correctional officers and other public workers already had the ability to avoid union fees under Act 10, the 2011 Wisconsin law that all but ended collective bargaining for public workers. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Supreme Court ruling affects cops and firefighters, but not other Wisconsin public workers," 27 June 2018 Abood held that objectors cannot be charged for union activities beyond collective bargaining, such as political campaigning. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Supreme Court Deals Blow to Public-Sector Unions," 27 June 2018 Some of the more extreme things smart NBA people talk about like a hard salary cap, getting rid of the maximum salary or being able to designate franchise players are likely too unrealistic to implement due to collective bargaining. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "The NBA isn't fair, you say? Maybe you're looking at it the wrong way," 4 July 2018 Unions are not allowed to use agency fees for political activity; those funds must go towards collective bargaining. Alana Abramson, Time, "The Supreme Court's Union Fees Decision Could Be a Huge Blow for Democrats," 29 June 2018 In some ways, the debate parallels the history of the taxi industry, which saw labor activists secure strong protections for drivers via collective bargaining in the early and post-New Deal 20th century. Jessica Mendoza, The Christian Science Monitor, "Who's an employee? California ruling updates debate for the gig economy.," 4 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'collective bargaining.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of collective bargaining

1891, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about collective bargaining

Share collective bargaining

Statistics for collective bargaining

Last Updated

23 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for collective bargaining

The first known use of collective bargaining was in 1891

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for collective bargaining

collective bargaining


English Language Learners Definition of collective bargaining

: talks between an employer and the leaders of a union about how much a group of workers will be paid, how many hours they will work, etc.

collective bargaining


Legal Definition of collective bargaining 

: negotiation between an employer and a labor union usually on wages, benefits, hours, and working conditions — see also bargaining agent at agent, bargaining unit, Labor Management Relations Act

More from Merriam-Webster on collective bargaining Encyclopedia article about collective bargaining

Comments on collective bargaining

What made you want to look up collective bargaining? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a typical or ideal example

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!