In Swedish
9 myths about collective bargaining agreements

Difficult. Slow. Inflexible. Preconceptions about collective bargaining agreements are plentiful - and often completely wrong.


Collective bargaining agreements = better than you think

Karin Bolling-Ferrel negotiates the Technical Services Agreement, which is the collective bargaining agreement applied by, among others, tech companies, game developers as well as technical consulting companies. Below, Karin dispels nine common myths about collective bargaining agreements.

1. We get tied down in our salary review process. Collective bargaining agreements mean that we are not allowed to set individual salaries or provide higher salary raises than the "benchmark"

Not correct at all! Our collective bargaining agreements provide for individual salary setting based on, for example, performance. The "benchmark" regulates the minimum salary raise that applies in total at the company unless you agree on something else; you can always elect to pay higher raises than that.

2. Collective bargaining agreements do not suit a global company

Regardless of where the company operates geographically, there are legal rules to follow. This is also the case in Sweden and it is not something that the company can opt out of. Our collective bargaining agreements replace the Swedish legal regulations for more flexibility. It is therefore not true that collective bargaining agreements are not suitable for global companies. In addition, many of our member companies are successful globally.

3. You cannot have employee stock options when you have a collective bargaining agreement

In our collective bargaining agreements, there are no obstacles to having employee stock options, bonus systems or other incentive programs.

4. Collective bargaining agreements do not work for our unique business in tech

A collective bargaining agreement contains rules that change the legislation to suit the needs of the industry. If you do not have a collective bargaining agreement, you must follow the legal regulations, which are less flexible. Collective bargaining agreements are a framework with great flexibility where employers and trade unions may agree on company-adapted solutions that suit the business. Unique solutions for unique companies, simply put.

5. Working hours rules become less flexible

We have replaced the Working Hours Act with our own rules that are more flexible than the legislation. In our agreements, for example, you can have the option of night work if necessary; there are also ample opportunities to handle work peaks before deadlines and the like.

6. We have better occupational pension plans

The collectively agreed occupational pension plans provide security and support for employers who do not have to procure them on their own. There is also a large range of procured funds and pension managers for employees to choose from. In addition, they provide more in the employees' wallets for every krona paid in, as the collectively agreed pension managers have lower fees and administration costs that otherwise eat up large parts of the saved pension capital. Overall, almost no insurance solutions that companies procure for themselves provide an equally high occupational pension. It is therefore be a win-win for employers and employees.

7. The company becomes less nimble as it is necessary to negotiate with the union

This is a common misconception we come across. According to the Co-Determination Act (MBL), companies with collective bargaining agreements need to consult more important changes and these are consulted only with the trade union parties who are parties to the collective bargaining agreement. Without a collective bargaining agreement, companies need to consult with all union affiliations that exist in the workplace in the event of, for example, redundancy. This makes the negotiations more time-consuming than with collective bargaining agreements.

8. With a collective bargaining agreement, the union has the decision-making power

A collective bargaining agreement in no way restricts the employer's right to decide on its own operations, even if the union in some instances has the right to opine on more important changes to the operations before the employer make the decision.

9. You may not offer additional benefits and insurance such as health care insurance

There are no obstacles to offering that type of insurance and benefits. Our collective bargaining agreements do not govern such benefits or such things as wellness allowances, lunch benefits or other things. It is entirely up to the employer to decide.

Do you want to know more? Feel free to contact us!

Yvonne Lo-Alfredsson,  031-62 94 39

Sofia Leino,  08-782 08 84