Benefits of unions & bargaining subjects to employees


Benefits of unions and bargaining subjects to employees

Labor unions play a crucial role in any organization by working together with employees to establish a collective voice to assist them in negotiations with their employers. Although some people view labor unions as negative they have many positive impacts on the labor market to both the employer as well as employee. Unions have helped in increasing working class wages in that at every workplace, there are often two competing interests. These are the employer interest with a desire to minimize overhead expense as well as earn big profits. On the other hand, employee interest is the urge to have a decent salary to commensurate the cost of living.

When an employee joins a union, there is a strengthening of bargaining power because of the ability to conduct a mass action like strikes, which can hamper company operations. Research shows that unions have been instrumental in raise of unionized workers wages with a significant difference between employees in unions and others who are not members of any union. At the same time, unions assist in inequalities reduction in the workplace (Martocchio, 2009). It is obvious that managers in the workplace often receive higher wages compared to other employees and do enjoy similar benefits. A study conducted shows that unions reduce wage inequalities as they raise wages at the bottom and the middle wage, unlike the top.

Conversely, unions help in the improvement of benefits given to the employees by their employers as well as negotiating for improved non-wage benefits. A   union formally acknowledged by an employer negotiates with an employer on terms and conditions in relation to the job description of the worker. It is obvious that for collective bargaining to be efficient both the unions and employers have to agree on the operation of the arrangement.

The benefit of a cash balance plan to employees

A cash balance plan is a benefit pension plan, which promises an employee of an employer’s equal contribution of a certain percentage of their yearly earnings .cash balance tends to build value progressively and often at a similar pace for every employee regardless of the number of years they have worked for an employer. In most cases, the aim of the plan is to build wealth and offer uniform accrual all through an employee’s career.

Majority of benefit plans are often based on the multiplication of the number of years served by an employee and the final pay. This means any increase in compensation in one year tends to increase the benefit accruals for all the past years. Cash balance plan entails fixed interest rate, protection of retirement savings, retirement adjustment in terms of contributions in case of salary increase and .management of retirement funds (Martocchio, 345). Employees willing to join other companies have an option to transfer the retirement capital to another firm or be given a lump sum of money.

The usage of a cash balance plan is beneficial to young employees; as it is easy to cultivate reliable employees to work for many years in the company. On the other hand, there is interest adjustment given to older employees in the cash plan. The adjustments and the likelihood of t funds transfer accumulated compensate for the prejudiced nature in relation to older employees. Conversely, older employees benefit from savings transfer to cash balance accounts, as the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation protects the accounts.

Importance of  “Age Discrimination in Employment Act” to employees

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act has been instrumental in tacking age discrimination in the workplace. Employers are now increasingly understanding the importance of fair and a just playing field in employment as well as promotions. The situation has led to better working conditions and improving companies’ image in the public eye. Presently, judicial l pronouncements make it crucial for employers to avoid age discrimination and become equal opportunity employers. Better standards of living have made it likely for employees to be productive for a long time; hence, there is a need for protection against an issue such as age discrimination. Such discrimination needs to be discouraged in the workplace in times of recruitment, training, advancements, as well as promotions.

The significance of laws in relation to age discrimination in the workplace is currently applicable worldwide. Discrimination needs to be avoided in private or even public sector. Employees have benefited from the law with the message being, the duty of the employer is to offer an atmosphere devoid of discrimination against age, sex as well as affiliations. The law is one of the most significant rights, which is available to the present and future employees.           Another advantage of the law to employees is redundancy or layoffs, as older employees are not to be the ones to be framed by their employers. It is an essential anti-discrimination responsibility to employers to ensure employees enjoy equal right in terms of employment. This means decision making in employing an individual should not be justified in relation to objective criteria and employers fancies.

Integration of qualified pension plans and Social Security

The present recent surveys indicate that the majority of private pension plans and public plans have been clearly integrated together with social security. The significance of the integration is to ensure that there is a retirement income adequacy in relation to all the covered employees in the scheme. At the same time, the process ensures equity in retirement income equity, which is interpreted as the equivalent of the total replacement rates for every employee in spite of their salary level.

Conversely, integrated plans aim to attain these goals by ensuring they take into account the amount received by a retiree from social security. At the same time, offer a benefit plan that is sufficient in the establishment of an integrated plan and social security with benefits that entails approximately similar percentage of an employee’s preretirement reward, which is independent of their position in relation to the pay scale.

The main reason for integration is to offer a retiree with a joint benefit, which will comprise of the same percentage of an employee’s pre-retirement compensation. The social security plan formula is extremely progressive and tilted toward the junior employees in the workplace and so the impact integration is to offer employees.

Benefits of Defined Contribution and Defined Benefit plans

There are two major pension plans known as Defined Contribution and Defined Benefit. Presently, DC plan has become common unlike DB with American States Department of Labor indicating that from 1990 to 1991 DB plans have reduced by around 30% and has continued to experience a drop. The loss of its dominance has been linked to various reasons. DB plan is a definite promise of future payments after the death or retirement of an employer. The benefit is often calculated in advance by application of a formula, which is based on age, salary and the number of years worked in a company. The promised benefit remains the final salary percentage of the employee.

Employers are accountable for making payments after retirement, which means a DB pension plan can be termed as employer pre-funded account. On the other hand, in a DB plan, there is a payment of fixed contribution by employees with the money deposited to an individual fund, which is sponsored by an employer in their career life. The contribution is often deducted directly by an employer from the salary of an employee and the portion matched by an employer. Conversely, the retirement income is often not known as it relies on the contributions made by an employee in their career life and their fund’s investment returns. Consequently, there is often no guarantee of retirement benefit as it is based on contributions and investment earnings. Lately, DB pension plans have lost their supremacy slowly in many countries with the emergence of other pension plans.

The shift from DB to DC has many advantages in relation to employees when they are changing jobs. DC plans to be portable, accrual risk challenges and employer’s insolvency risk are not an issue (Martocchio, 234). On the other hand, employers with the choice of controlling their pension savings using their preferred method often manage DC plans. In addition, changing to DC plans tends to shifts other challenges and risks from employees, which were absent in the DB plan. It is evident that employees using the DC plans often assume market as well as longevity risks formerly borne by DB plan sponsors.


Work Cited

Martocchio, Joseph J. Employee Benefits: A Primer for Human Resource Professionals. Boston, Mass: McGraw-Hill, 2003. Print.

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