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Collective Bargaining

There are different ways to obtain better computer working conditions through negotiations. One approach is simply to establish an ergonomics committee that is responsible to make recommendations to the employer.

Ergonomics Committee: The employer and union agree to establish a joint committee on ergonomics. The committee shall consist of an equal number of representatives from both parties. The committee’s purpose is to develop, implement and monitor the effectiveness of the ergonomics program.

Another strategy is to negotiate detailed contract language concerning computer working conditions. Some AFSCME locals have negotiated specifications similar to the guidelines in the previous chapter for lighting levels, chairs, keyboards, tables and other workstation components.

There are other computer issues that can be negotiated:

Eye and Vision: Any employee who regularly operates a computer may obtain an annual eye examination paid by the employer. The Employer will also pay for corrective lenses that have been prescribed for computer use.

Breaks: At a minimum, employees will be provided with a 15-minute break after every two hours of work that involves a computer. In addition to rest breaks, employees will be allowed and encouraged to take brief periods to stretch and do non-computer work tasks.

Light-Duty and Other Job Accommodations: The Employer will make job accommodations to employees who have been injured from working with a computer or are experiencing symptoms. The accommodations will include but not be limited to modified job duties, scheduling, equipment, and accessories.

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