Collective bargaining (also called contract negotiations) is the heart and soul of the labor movement. It is when workers band together to negotiate workplace matters with their employer. The end result is a collective bargaining agreement orcontract that spells out in black and white all of the terms both parties agree to, from pay rates and benefits, to a grievance procedure, time off and more. The employees, or bargaining unit, generally nominate a few of their coworkers to represent them, along with expert negotiators from the union. Once the negotiating team reaches a tentative agreement with management, the bargaining unit meets to vote the contract terms up or down. This is called the ratification process. The contract only goes into effect if a majority of the employees approve the tentative agreement.