The negotiation process between an employer and the union is called collective bargaining, because the union negotiates for all workers in its bargaining unit. During collective bargaining (also known as contract negotiations), representatives for the employer/management and the employees/union sit down to talk about what should be included in their next Collective Bargaining Agreement (also called the contract). Both parties will make proposals related to wages, hours, working conditions, benefits, and much more. These might include: raises, vacation time, schedule and hours, parental leave, health care, travel rules, preparation time, and health and safety. At the end of the bargaining process, they will have a new contract to govern the workplace for a specified number of years. Just cause is the highest form of job protection that most unionized employees have in their contracts. It states that an employer cannot fire or discipline an employee without a good reason. If a union contract guarantees just cause, in order to discipline or fire an employee the employer must show that the worker has not done their job or has acted inappropriately, after having had a chance to improve their performance. Without just cause -- in non-union workplaces in Massachusetts -- there is "employment at will" which means that a boss can fire a worker for any reason at all (as long as it's not discrimination based on race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or age). Without just cause, an employer is free to fire an employee using arbitrary or unfair criteria -- for example, without just cause a worker can be fired if the boss doesn't like the person, or if they would rather hire a friend into the position. Without just cause, the employer does not have to provide a reason or give any notice to the worker.