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What are bargaining units?

Some job announcements may say “This is a bargaining unit position”. A bargaining unit position is a job that is represented by a labor union. Bargaining units cover more than half of the jobs in the Federal Government. Labor unions negotiate various conditions of employment for these jobs, however they don’t generally negotiate compensation or other matters that the management team deems to be their sole prerogative.

If your job is in a bargaining unit, you don’t have to join the union. However, if you want to join a union, your job must be in a recognized bargaining unit.

Appeal rights

Typically, you need to be in a bargaining unit job if you want to file a complaint using the negotiated grievance procedure.

Each union has their own grievance procedures which you can find in your Union Handbook. All union members, whether you’re a paying member or not, have access to appeal rights and grievance procedures, including the EEO complaint process. If you’re a union member you also have the right to union representation in all grievance procedures.

For more information on your appeal rights please refer to a copy of your Union Handbook or ask your HR department if you don’t have a copy.

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