What is good faith bargaining?
Ohio Revised Code 4117.01 (G) defines collective bargaining and requires people engaged in collective bargaining to bargain in good faith. When two parties engage in good faith bargaining, they agree to meet at reasonable times and places to negotiate wages, hours, terms, and other conditions of employment. Parties must be bargaining with the intention of reaching an agreement; however, collective bargaining does not mean that either party is compelled to agree to a proposal or to make a concession.
Good faith bargaining involves both parties making their best effort to agree to an effective bargaining process and to consider and respond to proposals made by each other. Collective bargaining requires that both parties bargain in good faith. It is the law.
1. While the above seems to indicate that the ORC defines “good faith”, it in fact does not. Therefore this definition is based on the interpretation made by the SEA.
2. Here is the aforementioned law quoted:
“To bargain collectively’ means to perform the mutual obligation of the public employer, by its representatives, and the representatives of its employees to negotiate in good faith at reasonable times and places with respect to wages, hours, terms, and other conditions of employment and the continuation, modification, or deletion of an existing provision of a collective bargaining agreement, with the intention of reaching an agreement, or to resolve questions arising under the agreement. “To bargain collectively” includes executing a written contract incorporating the terms of any agreement reached. The obligation to bargain collectively does not mean that either party is compelled to agree to a proposal nor does it require the making of a concession.”
3. Ohio Revised Code4117.01(G) makes this clarification: “The obligation to bargain collectively does not mean that either party is compelled to agree to a proposal nor does it require the making of a concession.”
4. When parties engage in good faith bargaining, neither side expects to get everything they want. Negotiation is a process of compromise. Neither side ends up totally happy, but both sides—if they have “honorable intent” and negotiate “in good faith”—agree to abide by the contractual obligations they make, could be another interpreted definition of the term good faith as used in the aforementioned law.