Collective Bargaining: Tactics, Techniques and Table Manners

Learn the basics of labor law and how that guides your labor relations planning, strategy and communication. Understand the data needed to prepare for the collective bargaining process and how to analyze that data. Focus on negotiating an agreement including contract considerations, tactics, techniques and more. Anticipate your defense if required and plan a course of action that achieves your goals and objectives.

This seminar on basic collective bargaining is for:

  • Individuals who recently have assumed labor relations responsibilities.
  • Individuals coming into a union environment from a nonunion 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.

This course is preapproved by the Society for Human Resource Management for 18 Professional Development Credits (PDCs) toward the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP.

This course can be applied to the Labor Relations Certificate.


Kristofor Hanson

Kristofor Hanson

Kristofor L. Hanson is a shareholder of Lindner & Marsack, S.C. He maintains a multifaceted management-side labor and employment practice focusing on representing employers in all areas of labor-management relations, including collective bargaining, labor arbitration, and litigation in state and ... read more

Benefits and Learning Outcomes

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

Course Outline/Topics

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

Get 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
    – Develop 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


"Content and the format were great …. being able to do it virtual was greatly appreciated. Being new to union negotiations in the public sector, it was great to hear negotiations strategy and that it is okay to say no or negotiate."  —  Susan Rotert, City of Brookings, 2021

"I really enjoyed the course. This will be my first time sitting at the table and I feel better prepared for our upcoming negotiations now that I’ve participated in this training."  —  Participant, 2022

Date: Tue-Thu, Apr 30-May 2, 2024

Delivery Method: Live Online

Time: 8:30am-4pm CT

Platform: Zoom

Instructor: Kristofor Hanson


$1,115 by Apr 16, 2024
$1,165 after Apr 16, 2024

CEUs: 1.8, PDCs: 18

Enrollment Limit: 15

Program Number: 5045-15836

Registration Deadline: Apr 30, 2024

Register Now


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