POLS 7400X Collective Bargaining Simulation
The process of collective bargaining is dynamic and exciting! It is both an art and ascience. The purpose of this simulation is to provide students the opportunity toapply the concepts, terms, and negotiation tactics and strategies to an actual laboragreement. The traditional classroom experience can be greatly enhanced by the
addition of students’ hands
-on experiences of negotiating a labor agreement. Thesimulation is designed to provide a practical, in-class understanding of the collectivebargaining process.The nature of the real-world collective bargaining is two teams sitting across thetable from each other with the objective of negotiating an agreement that meets theinterests of their party and is acceptable to the other side. This process can be easilysimulated in the classroom environment by teams of students. To maximize the feelof a real-world situation, the situational analysis of the renegotiation of anagreement is provided and the complete actual agreement.
Step 1: Introduction. The class is divided into an even number of three- to five-member labor and management student teams. The teams are then given adequatetime to carefully review the situational summary provided, the actual agreement,and the relevant chapter of the text. At the start of the simulation, the courseinstructor will provide confidential information to each labor and management team, which is a list of the economic issues and priorities developed by the partiesthemselves in the actual negotiation. The confidential lists can be used by theteams to determine their negotiation strategies.Step 2: Preparation. Student teams determine their individual roles. Suggested rolesinclude chief negotiator (the only member able to make/accept formal, written
proposals), assistant chief negotiator (responsible for developing the “framing” of each proposal and writing each formal proposal), financial advisor (the “numbers”
person who estimates costs of individual economic proposals, as well as the totalcost of all agreed/proposed issues), business agent (keeps minutes of all negotiationsessions, proposals, and counterproposals), and researcher (responsible forresearching recent agreements within the region and by similar bargaining units toprovide supportive information during negotiations). Teams then develop a list of economic and noneconomic issues they will propose, as well as a list they expect theother side to propose, their opening position on each issue, and their desiredposition on each issue.Step 3: Opening Session. Labor and management teams meet across the table, andeach side makes an opening statement. Ground rules are agreed on, and finallyinitial economic and noneconomic demands are exchanged (unless another processis determined in the ground rules) and explained.