Q: What is the purpose of the ratification process in collective bargaining?

In unionized workplaces, during contract negotiations, collective bargaining committees can reach a tentative agreement on a new contract but that tentative agreement is almost always subject to ratification by the “principals” of both committees. The university’s principals are the members of the Board of Trustees or of a designated sub-committee of the Board.  The union’s principals are the members of the bargaining unit. It is up to the bargaining unit members to accept or reject the tentative agreement. A majority vote in favour is necessary to approve – or “ratify” – the tentative agreement.

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