Contribution of Trade Union to Job Evaluation

Trade union is an organized group of employees who come to strengthen their bargaining position and to put group efforts towards realization of management goals. Trade unions of workers, supervisors etc, exist but generally, in India workers’ union is a more common phenomenon.

Workers, who have main objective to fulfill their personnel needs through organizing and rendering services, expect a reward in terms of money. So directly, trade union is concerned with job evaluation.

Usually, workers carry a biased view when analyzing the role of management i.e. management is our boss and boss is always concerned with how to cut the benefits given to the workers and in turn reduce labor costs. Obviously, one of the objectives is to cut the costs. However, an understanding of the healthy relation between management and trade union helps to ease the cut off rate idea.

Economic and other motivational factors lead people to work. Economical needs motivate people to work to get something in return for the services rendered. So, establishment of the fair wage rate is necessary and as such union’s attitude toward job evaluation is very significant.

The only weapon in the hands of trade union is collective bargaining, which the union thinks is taken away by applying the job evaluation system. In India, collective bargaining which is mainly brought to the fore to deal with wage fixation, the application of job evaluation lessens the chance for unions to gain strength as they feel it would defeat the very objective of the existence of trade unions.

Some unions argue that job evaluation weakens the bargaining strength and makes it impossible to work out adjustments matched to individual needs. It is interesting to note that the concept of job evaluation is well recognized among unions even before management has given serious thought to this system. Unions agree that the jobs having the same requirement should be given equal wage and thus believe in equity centered approach. So job evaluation for trade union is merely a systematic framework for negotiation. It reduces grievances and disputes.

Well designed job evaluation helps business firm in more than one way

1) Being a systematic process, job evaluation fixes the wage rate for each job.
2) It is considered to be simple as it is easily understood by all.
3) It establishes the equitable wage rate for all the jobs, according to the requirements
4) Company training programs, placement, recruitment selection and long range manpower planning always follow job evaluation.
5) It enables company to get data for incorporation in local wage surveys to establish job classification.

All these contribute to healthy sound and equitable wage structure in organization. But in practice, the role of trade union varies from outright opposition to complete participation. In many cases unions involve and provide full participation. In such a case, local unions select members who are trained by management and form a joint union management committee to work out and install a job evaluation system.

The main reason for unwillingness on the part of trade union is that they feel it is not their job. There is always dispute among the members to settle status.

When several unions exist in an organization, it becomes even more difficult to apply this system. Thus, one of the primary objectives of job evaluation is to devise a fair wage structure that workers would accept. So relations between two parties are significant and depend on how flexible management is towards its policy, Thus for the success of any job evaluation system it is absolutely imperative that the system gets the support of unions.