Union Bargaining Preparation

The union negotiations process can be a daunting task – even for the most seasoned Labor Relations executives. Therefore, it is never too early to begin the bargaining preparation process. Accordingly, this module outlines the key negotiations preparation activities that should be performed from 12 to 18 months in advance of bargaining right through to opening day. Key areas of focus for bargainers should include – a bargaining environment assessment, development of a robust internal governance process, development of negotiations costing models, formulation of bargaining strategy and finally creation of a comprehensive communications strategy.

Learning Objectives

Understanding of the six basic stages of the collective bargaining process

Learn how to conduct a bargaining environment assessment that will assist the organization in anticipating union demands, developing management proposals and formulating an overall bargaining strategy

Set up a robust internal governance process that - clearly establishes the composition, roles and responsibilities of the various bargaining subcommittees, support teams and oversight committees; ensures that all relevant stakeholders have a say in the process and are kept apprised of progress; and ensures that appropriate lines of communication and approval processes are in place

High-level overview of a 3-Step approach that can be utilized to develop a dynamic negotiations costing model

Awareness of bargaining tools that can be utilized to formulate overall bargaining strategy

Understanding of a strike analysis and preparation of a strike manual

Development of a comprehensive communication strategy that addresses numerous key aspects including messaging content, format, cadence and delivery models. Attendees will also gain an appreciation for the importance of managing union expectations, being prepared for all possible bargaining outcomes as well as the potential impact of social media
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