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Collective Bargaining: Tactics, Techniques and Table Manners

Get the secrets to successful negotiations while you learn to plan strategy and communicate effectively. Understand how to collect and analyze data to help you prepare, anticipate your defense if required, and plan a course of action in order to achieve your objectives.

This class has been approved for 17 general credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification.

This class has been pre-approved by the Society for Human Resource Management for 21 Professional Development Credits (PDCs) towards the SHRM-SCP or SHRM-CP.

This course can be applied to the following certificates:
Human Resources Management
Labor Relations Certificate

Benefits and Learning Outcomes

  • Apply tested techniques to handle various situations
  • Structure an outcome
  • Recognize when to take a strike

Course Outline/Topics

This outstanding seminar on basic collective bargaining is for:

  • Individuals who recently have assumed labor relations responsibilities
  • Individuals coming into a union environment from a non-union role
  • Those with principally academic backgrounds who want to supplement their exposure with the practical experiences of seasoned negotiators
  • Individuals and teams wanting to refresh and sharpen their skills before going into negotiations

For the program agenda, click More.

Program Agenda

Day One: 8:30am-4pm
What You Need to Know About the Law

  • The duty to bargain in good faith
  • Mandatory, permissive and illegal issues
  • Notifications
  • Strikes, lockouts and picketing
  • Slow downs and other tactics
  • Multi-employer, multi-union bargaining
  • Injunctive remedies in labor disputes
  • Enforcement of contracts
  • Petitions for elections
  • Union shop and the check-off
  • Economic strikes, replacement of strikers
  • Mediation and conciliation

Day Two: 8:30-11:30am
Getting Ready to Bargain

  • U.S. Concept of labor relations- Legislative restrictions
    – Collective bargaining trends
    – Labor Policy
    – The collective bargaining process
    – Types of collective bargaining
    – Sites for collective bargaining
  • Preparing for negotiations
    – Surveys, statistics, graphs, etc.
    – Selecting the bargaining team
    – Union bargaining team
    – Developing the company’s bargaining position
    – Marketing considerations
    – Financial considerations
    – Operating considerations
    – Aspects of public and community relations
    – General and economic conditions
  • Developing proposals
    – Contract review by negotiator
    – Contract review by operating personnel
    – The need for proposals
    – Cost data
    – Structuring a proposal
    – Negotiating a first agreement
    – Communications
    – Strike preparations

Day Two: 12:30-3:30pm
Negotiating An Agreement: The Contractual Ingredients

  • Contract considerations- Content of agreement
    – Structure of agreement
    – Long term vs short term contracts
    – Items to be avoided
    – Wage re-openers
    – Mutual consent clauses
    – Past practices
    – Side agreements
    – Memos of understanding
    – Work rules
  • Cost Matters
    – Analyze and pricing union demands
    – Wages vs fringes
    – Hidden cost factors
  • Mediation
  • Union pressure tactics
  • When to take a strike
    – Settling a strike

Day Three: 8:30am-3pm
Negotiating an Agreement: Tactics, Techniques and Table Manners

  • Strategy and tactics
  • Important negotiating concepts
  • Important negotiator traits
  • Table manners
  • Techniques:
    – First meeting
    – Getting movement
    – Impasse
    – How to say no
    – Value of caucuses
  • Early settlement contract extensions, retroactivity, etc.
  • Signaling
  • Educating the union bargaining committee
  • How to structure an offer
  • Letters to the employees
  • Ratification problems
  • Communications
  • Negotiating style
    – Summary
    – Red flags


Course fee includes morning and afternoon refreshment breaks, lunches, instructional material and tuition.

“Better than any MBA labor relations course I have taken in the past.”

— Jeff Burke, Plant Manager,Wheaton USA

“Great program. . .will definitely recommend it to others.”

— Lance Dunn, HR Manager, Eagle Ottawa Waterloo

All sessions are Face-to-Face unless otherwise noted.

Mon.-Wed., Sept. 19-21


Location: To Be Announced

Jonathan Swain
Thomas Mackenzie


$1,115 if you register by Mon., Sept. 5.
$1,165 if you register after Mon., Sept. 5.

CEUs: 2.1

Enrollment Limit: 30

Program Number: 5045-9080

Registration Deadline: Mon., Sept. 19

Register Now