Thematic page

Wage bargaining


Wages are amongst the central subjects for collective bargaining. Collective bargaining may set wage floors as well as wages above those floors where economic factors allow, and wage adjustments that may ensure that workers get a fair share of productivity gains while not impairing the capacity of employers to operate profitably.

Through wage bargaining the social partners may agree on wage rates, on a periodical review of those rates, on the type of payment system, wage structure and wage composition. Wage bargaining can take place in a single negotiation, or it can go through a sequence of multiple stages that take place at different bargaining levels. Negotiating and determining adequate wages requires an evidence-based approach and solid data and information on the needs of workers and their families as well as on economic factors. Wage bargaining can contribute to prevent gender biases in the wage structure and to ensure the principle of equal pay for work of equal value. In addition, it can help social partners to adjust to fluctuating demand and production capacity throughout the economic cycle and the enterprise life cycle.

This webpage displays links to key ILO publications and training tools that concern wage bargaining and aims to support social partners in ILO Member States’ by providing them with additional tools and information that can be used in the course of their own negotiations.

Key documents