The usefulness of collective bargaining agreements

In some economic sectors, a collective bargaining agreement guarantees employees a minimum wage and suitable conditions.

A collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is an agreement entered into between:

  • An individual company and one or more unions representing its employees
  • Several companies and one or more unions representing their employees
  • One or more employer associations and one or more unions representing employees

For example, the company SSR SRG idée suisse has its own CBA, which was entered into between its management and the Syndicat suisse des mass media (SSM), which represents its employees. Médias Suisses (Swiss Media), the Swiss francophone association of private media companies, and Impressum, the Swiss association of journalists, have also entered into a CBA.

The goal of a CBA is to ensure minimum working conditions for employees, considering the particular aspects of the sector and the related organizations. The clauses of a CBA may address, among other things:

  • Minimum wage
  • Payment of wages in the event of illness, maternity, or during military service
  • Vacation and days off
  • Regulations relating to hours of work
  • Extension of protection against dismissal
  • Etc.

For an employer, a CBA makes it possible to ensure company stability.

The CBA must be applied within companies that are members of the signatory associations. In some cases, the scope may even be extended to all companies in the sector, whether or not they are members of the associations at the origin of the CBA in question. This type of extension is handled by the relevant authorities for one or more cantons or even Switzerland as a whole.


Last modification 16.09.2021

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