A collective agreement is a written contract between an employer and a union representing workers. The KBA is the result of a broad negotiation process between the parties on issues such as wages, hours and terms of employment. In 1931, the Supreme Court was appointed in the Texas – N.O.R. Co. Brotherhood of Railway Clerks case, upholding the prohibition of employer intervention in the selection of negotiators.  In 1962, President Kennedy signed an executive order that gives public employee unions the right to bargain collectively with federal authorities.  The Act is now enshrined in the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 s.179, which provides that collective agreements are definitively considered non-binding in the United Kingdom. This presumption can be rebutted if the agreement is written and includes an express provision that it should be legally enforceable. The Office of Labor Management Standards, part of the U.S. Department of Labor, is required to collect all collective agreements for 1,000 or more workers, with the exception of those involving railroads and airlines.
 They offer the public access to these collections through their website. The definition of a collective agreement is contained in the Participation Act, which stipulates that a collective agreement is a written agreement between employers` organizations or an employer, on the one hand, and a workers` organization, on the other, which regulates the conditions of employment or the relationship between the employer and the worker. An agreement is considered written if its contents are recorded in approved minutes or if a proposal for agreement and acceptance are recorded in separate documents. Oral agreements or agreements that do not concern the relationship between the employer and the workers are not considered a collective agreement. In Sweden, the scope of collective agreements is very high, although there are no legal mechanisms to extend agreements to entire industrial sectors. In 2018, 83% of all private sector employees were subject to collective agreements, 100% of public sector employees and 90% in total (compared to the overall labour market).  This reflects the predominance of self-regulation (regulation by the labour market parties themselves) over state regulation in Swedish industrial relations.  However, the approval of a good faith agreement does not mean that negotiators will not act in the best interests of their parties. The union will present proposals that it believes will benefit union members, and the management team will present proposals that will benefit the employer. Each party may have to make concessions throughout the negotiation process – it is not just a matter of submitting proposals. The negotiation process is a give-and-take exercise, in which a win-win resolution is the ideal result.
Other collective agreements contain rules on the relationship between the employer and individual workers. Such agreements can be concluded at the central level, by the parties described above and at the local level, between a specific employer and the local union represented in the company.