Serving on a bargaining committee

Members elect members to the bargaining committee.

If you are a member of a public sector bargaining association, like the FBA, committee members are elected at bargaining conferences.

Find out more about public sector bargaining

If you have an independent contract, bargaining committees are elected at local meetings. There are usually two members and two alternate members at single sites.

Find out more about independent sector bargaining  

What a bargaining committee member needs to know
  • Know your fellow members and workplace well  
  • Be familiar with employer practices and policies  
  • If you are already covered by a collective agreement, it is important to know it well
  • Get your members involved by encouraging them to think about various aspects of the contract or their work life that are of special interest, and encourage them to submit their own thoughtful proposals.
  • Once the proposals have been drafted, keep this information within the committee, and stay alert to any efforts by the employer to undermine the confidence and morale of members.
Role of a bargaining committee member
  • Work collaboratively as a committee.
  • Present a united front when meeting with employer.
  • You are elected to represent the entire membership, not your own agenda, or the agenda of a small group of members.
  • Stay connected to the membership throughout bargaining.
  • Never talk to the employer about bargaining outside of the bargaining meetings.
  • Take notes, to the best of your ability, of what is said at the bargaining table with the employer (notes will be collected at the end of bargaining).
  • Plan to attend all bargaining meetings starting with preparation, through to ratification.
  • Be prepared for some long days and wherever possible, to change personal plans to accommodate the needs of the bargaining committee.
  • Enjoy the opportunity to learn, grow and meet other activists.