Table Tactics - Section 16 - 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 present and analyze some of the more common tactical maneuvers used at the table. The list of techniques selected for this section are far from complete, but are often used in both public and private sectors.
In the often tense and trying atmosphere of negotiations, patience can wear thin and judgment can grow weak. It is therefore not impossible to make an error, a misstatement of position, a premature concession or a thoughtless remark one later regrets. The appropriate thing to do is own up to the error and seek to rectify it. For example, during negotiations for a new agreement between Gotham City and its Firefighters Union, city spokesperson Frank Kalinowski inadvertently agrees to an extra personal leave day as well as an additional holiday, when he had intended to give one or the other but not both. When the union leaves the room to take its caucus to consider the offer, Kathryn Kelley, the city’s director of personnel, quickly points out the error to Kalinowski. He immediately goes to the firefighters’ caucus room and informs them of his misstatement so that there can be no acceptance of his offer or any resultant change in the position of the union as a result of a misunderstanding.