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Tip Tuesday: Bargaining Prep

January 14, 2020
If you want to win negotiations, preparation is KEY. Below are a few tips for bargaining preparation:
  • Begin preparing before expiration of a current contract(s) or moratorium(s).
  • Identify the Wants, Needs and Expectations (WNE’s) of the company.  Survey senior leaders, appropriate managers and supervisors- include Finance and Benefits experts.  Inputs and reviews include, for example:
    • Corporate Level- Economic limits/authority, costs and organization strategy/direction
    • Competitors- Costs, productivity, customer service and funding, if public sector. Benchmark the competition.
    • Operations/Supervisor Level- costs, productivity, and customer service. Identify the rules, practices or arbitrations negatively impacting these areas.  This is also a great opportunity to help operations fix things now where not restricted by contract under the management rights or authority doctrine.
    • Finance and Benefits Experts- Benchmark the competition and arrive at benefit costs; especially medical plans. Seek input from plan providers on plan performance, improvements and benchmarks to control costs and improve care outcomes.
  • Assemble bargaining information (Bargaining “Book”). Include, for example:
    • Labor cost basics (value of 1 cent/percent, hours worked/not worked, employee demographics, etc.)
    • Cost of rules, customer service and productivity areas in need of change. This includes both quantitative and qualitative costs and impediments.
    • Medical Plan data, including costs, trends, usage and input/programs from plan providers
    • Other settlements in the company (and non-union) and/or industry.  BLS and industry tracked data.
    • Any other data or information impacting and supporting bargaining WNE’s
    • Current state rules/issues and proposals.