The Bargaining Process
The formal bargaining process generally begins when the union presents its proposals at the negotiating table, at a time and place agreed to by both sides. The process the union goes through to figure out what proposals to present usually includes looking at:
• What the workforce’s experience has shown is “broken” in the old contract, and what therefore needs to get “fixed” in the new one.
• How to balance the needs and expectations of various groups of employees represented by the union, which will sometimes be quite different or even in conflict.
• What the union itself needs so it can function as an effective advocate for its members.
• The reality of what’s happening in other workplaces, or in society generally. (Is inflation so high that it’s reasonable to expect substantial raises?)
—Adapted from The Union Member's Complete Guide, by Michael Mauer