Home » 41-1 ( 1986) » Le contenu non salarial des conventions collectives dans les industries manufacturières au Québec

Le contenu non salarial des conventions collectives dans les industries manufacturières au Québec

Claude Rondeau et François Badin


L'objet de cet article est d'étendre l'analyse déjà disponible de certaines clauses de convention collective à l'ensemble des clauses non salariales de celles-ci.


This article presents a quantitative analysis of the importance of non-wage clauses in collective agreements and the conditions governing them. The study is based on 19 industries in Quebec's manufacturing sector, including 2192 collective agreements signed between January lst 1979 and April 15th 1982. A method of measurement of collective agreement content developed by Gerhart (1976) is used. The variety of non-wage clauses as well as the basically conflictual nature of collective negotiations require the definition of a lowest common denominator. For present purposes what has been retained is: the reduction of management rights and prerogatives.

Out of a total of 214 clauses, 126 were selected as directly relevant to this study and subsequently codified on a graded scale according to negative impact on management rights. Provision has also been made for analysis of the multidimensional nature of union objectives during negotiations, through a definition of sub-indices from clauses related to employment, income and unions rights issues. The results reveal statistically significant interindustry differences in the nonwage content of collective agreements, both for the general index as well as each of its components. In general, the development of non-wage clauses tends to be greater in heavy than in light industries.

The traditional model of wage determination under collective bargaining is then used to analyse the determinants of non-wage clauses. Table 3 shows the normalised coefficients of the model, estimated by OLS regression analysis. These results suggest that the non-wage content of collective agreements is determined mainly by economic variables related to production technology and ability to pay. The latter factor, measured by profits value of shipments and productivity, clearly has a positive impact on the extent management-rights reduction through collective bargaining. A labor intensive technology also contributes positively to the development of non-wage clauses; however, as expected, this impact is mitigated by a high elasticily of substitution of capital for labor. The regression results are less clear with respect to institutional factors. Trade union density has a significant negative coefficient contrary to expectations. However, union policy as reflected in union affiliation appears to have a significant impact on non-wage clauses taken as a whole, or more specifically related to employment issues.