The thoughtful views expressed by Messrs. Newman, Hartnett, and Straus have encouraged me to make explicit some additional aspects of teleconferencing. Many of the reservations expressed related to the episodic nature of labor relations. It did not really make sense to substitute teleconferencing for the necessary vitality of the face-to-face interaction. As Mr. Newman noted, "even where statewide bargaining is involved, the negotiators rarely have need to meet repeatedly with individuals at the various work sites." This is true for the final negotiating phases, but less true for the parties during the life of the contract. The isolated individual responsible for labor relations for a school district may sometimes feel him or herself a prophet alone in the wilderness. On the management side in particular, the greater skill of individuals will reflect their training and type of employment rather than the subtleties of labor relations.
Doubtless the drama of face-to-face negotiations at the twelfth hour gives special tang lending excitement and passion to what may sometimes be a mundane, routine relationship.