Collective bargaining is the process of negotiations between the employer and employees in which the parties aim to reach an agreement on working conditions. The process the parties use can range vastly in formality and negotiation method. Parties can choose a bargaining team to represent their position during these negotiations or create committees to address certain topics of interest. The two most common methods that districts use to come to agreement during contract negotiations are traditional and collaborative bargaining.
Many districts use interest-based, collaborative bargaining. Such bargaining includes approximately five to 10 people on each team. The teams then form into subcommittees, which study negotiation issues and recommend a solution to the entire group. This form of bargaining strongly relies on trust and communication between the parties while working toward a solution. Collaborative bargaining is most effective when the parties share a positive and extensive bargaining history.
For traditional bargaining, the parties use a facilitator. OSBA and OEA have a joint program for training and facilitation in the traditional bargaining process. This form of bargaining maintains more formality than collaborative bargaining, but allows the parties to present their position through proposals. Contact Lisa Freiley of the OSBA Human Resource Development department for further information.