Table Manners - Section 13 - Collective Bargaining: How it Works and Why - 3rd Edition
Thomas R. Colosi is American Arbitration Association Vice President for National Affairs and a third-party neutral. He spends much of his time training advocates and neutrals about the workings of dispute resolution. He has taught as an adjunct professor for the University of Maryland Law School and at Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.
Arthur E. Berkeley is Associate Professor at the Memphis State University’s School of Business, where he teaches alternative dispute resolution. He is involved in training programs as well as serving as an arbitrator. He served as the founding president of the Maryland Chapter of Industrial Relations Research Association.
Originally from Collective Bargaining: How it Works and Why - 3rd Edition
IN THIS SECTION we examine what actually occurs once the parties are physically at the table. This is, of necessity, a general description and there may be variations. Nonetheless, most parties tend to follow the pattern discussed.
Usually the first matters discussed are those pertaining to establishing ground rules for conducting negotiation sessions. If the parties have bargained with one another previously, this area will generally not require much discussion. However, if the parties are new to the process, such as those involved in a first contract, or if there was a strike or lockout during the negotiations for the prior contract, the parties may devote much of their early energies to this task.
In these situations, when ground rules are being established, in truth the negotiating process is already underway. Sometimes called “negotiating over negotiations,” this process provides both sides the opportunity to build trust and goodwill which will prove important in the next phase—negotiating over substantive items.
Time Schedules and Frequency of Sessions
Points to Ponder