Cornell University

Catherwood Library

Catherwood Library, Ives Hall, 607-255-5435

Question of the Month

From the Catherwood Library reference librarians

July-September 2009

PLEASE NOTE: The Reference Question of the Month is kept current only during the month for which it was written. Archived questions will not be updated, and over time may contain inaccurate information or broken web links. We provide archived questions as a service, since much of the information will remain accurate and of continued interest to the ILR community.

Question: Are there Internet sites where I can retrieve current collective bargaining agreements?  How can I find current or recent labor contracts?

Answer: The answer to this question has changed considerably since it was a Reference Question of the Month in 2005! There are now several online portals through which you can view and download recent collective bargaining agreements. 

DigitalCommons@ILR--Collective Bargaining Agreement Collection
The Catherwood Library provides full text of many recent collective bargaining agreements through its DigitalCommons@ILR repository. The Collective Bargaining Collection consists of recent contracts that were on file with the U. S. Department of Labor (Bureau of Labor Statistics) and the New York State Public Employment Relations Board. The collection reflects recent, but not usually current contracts. Full text of these contracts can be searched from within the document and from the Internet. 

OLMS Collective Bargaining Agreements File
The Department of Labor, Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS) is now charged with collecting current private and public sector collective bargaining agreements covering over 1000 employees. Full text of these contracts can be retrieved from the Union Reports web page. They are organized by the sector and employer. Look here for the latest contracts covering over 1000 employees. Some contracts are in image format and cannot be searched for words in the full text. 

Use this Google Custom Search for full text searching of many agreements in the DOL and PERB collections. (This is a trial search engine--for best results, use the links above.)

School District Labor Contracts (SeeThroughNY)
Use the pull down menus to retrieve full text NY school district employee and superintendent contracts. The site is sponsored by the Empire Center for New York State Policy, part of the non-partisan and non-profit Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.

NYS Governor's Office of Employee Relations, Labor Relations Section—Bargaining Units Center
Current and recent NY state employee collective bargaining agreements are available.

California State Employee Collective Bargaining Agreements
Find agreements between the state of California and its employees. The page is organized by bargaining unit. A search box allows full text searching of the contracts.

Florida State Employee Collective Bargaining Agreements
Find links to collective bargaining agreements for various state units. Also find other forms and materials for state employees.

Wisconsin State Employee Collective Bargaining Agreements
Provides links to current and recent state employee labor contracts.

Canadian public and private sector contracts are available from this government web site. Search the “collective agreements” section to find important agreements between unions and Canadian employers.

American Postal Workers Union, Collective Bargaining Agreements
The APWU has current and recent National Agreements and Support Service Contracts posted on its website.

Labor Contracts Database (Berkeley)
The Institute of Industrial Relations Library at U.C. Berkeley compiled this database from collective bargaining agreements found on the web. Use the database to search by state, union, or occupation. Most of the contracts in the database are from the public sector. The database may not be currently maintained.

Didn’t find the contract you need?
Try some Internet searches. Unions and employers, particularly in the public sector, often provide access to their collective bargaining agreements. Here are some search strategies. For Google, construct searches similar to these samples:

“collective bargaining agreement” OR master agreement union

The Google Advanced Search option allows you to specify the .pdf format. This is helpful because full text documents on the web are often in this format. If you are interested in a particular union or employer, add it to the search:

“collective bargaining agreement” ALCOA

Commercial providers might help you locate an agreement. BNA Plus Labor Documents, a fee-based service offered by BNA publications, has a collection of approximately 5,000 private and public sector contracts includes both large and small employers. Most contracts are available for $125, but UAW Master Contracts with Ford, GM, and Chrysler are currently $375.

For historical contracts…
The Kheel Center has recently obtained an extensive collection of historical collective bargaining agreements from the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. See the Guides of the Kheel Center and scroll to United States. Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics Collective Bargaining Agreements for detailed listings of the unions, companies, and industries that are part of the collection. In addition, the Kheel Center has a comprehensive collection of NY State public employment agreements from the enactment of the Taylor Law in 1969 until recent years. The Center also has a small collection of current contracts.

The Kheel Center does not provide web access to these collective bargaining agreements. Check with Kheel Center staff regarding availability of the contract collections.

— Researched by Susan LaCette