Frequently Asked Questions about Collective Bargaining for Virginia Local Governments



For the first time in nearly fifty years, certain public sector employees in the Commonwealth of Virginia will have an opportunity to pursue collective bargaining agreements with their employers. Although public employees in Virginia have long had the ability to join and form unions and to meet and confer with their employers on certain terms and conditions of employment, the Virginia General Assembly recently granted local government employers the ability to authorize collective bargaining with their workforces.

As of May 1, 2021, Virginia localities may pass an ordinance or resolution which allows for:
(1) the recognition of unions or employee associations as the exclusive bargaining representatives for certain segments of their workforces; and
​(2) collective bargaining with such exclusive representatives. See Va. Code § 40.1-57.2(A).

Localities may also choose to pass an ordinance or resolution which makes clear that they will not authorize exclusive bargaining agents and/or collective bargaining.

As localities weigh their options now and after May 1, 2021, we have provided answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding the impact of Va. Code § 40.1-57.2, Virginia’s collective bargaining law. Read our answers here