Coalition bargaining is a process where more than one employer negotiates with the union. Coalition bargaining is separate from collective bargaining, which is done with individual unions at the negotiating table.With coalition bargaining, the unions must reach a certain percentage agreement on issues to approve a change. Each union representative's percentage is measured by the number of employees in that union. Therefore, the union with the most members will carry the largest percentage.
Some communities have chosen to used coalition bargaining to negotiate health insurance coverage for public employees. Because health care providers offer price discounts and administrative efficiencies to large purchasers in exchange for patient volume, coalitions can purchase health care services for less money than individual funds could on their own and, at the same time, maximize employee choice.