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Enhancing Collective Bargaining

Negotiators must approach collective bargaining with a broader brush, then a narrow solution orientated focus. Negotiators must consider three areas of focus (the three P's) to enhance collective bargaining:

  • People - ensuring a functional and sustainable working relationship;

  • Process - ensuring that there is a process that is certain and accommodates the needs of the parties; and

  • Problems in bargaining - a wider focus on understanding needs, risks and benefits before attempting to find solutions.

There is very little need to reinvent the legal framework, as our current law provides an adequate framework for negotiators to craft collective bargaining arrangements that are innovative, and will seek to address some of the challenges identified in my previous post. Old habits and practices of collective bargaining do not always reflect wisdom and must be reviewed. A strategic plan to enhance collective bargaining arrangements needs to be developed and applied in all three areas of people, process and problem. I suggest a broad integrated approach to collective bargaining.