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Basic Table Techniques Developing Arguments

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  1. Basic Table TechniquesDeveloping Arguments University of Iowa Labor Center Iowa Professional Fire Fighters

  2. The Bargaining Team • The Chief Spokesperson • The Note Taker • Team Members

  3. Chief Spokesperson • Speaks for the bargaining team • Controls the message • Announces agreement (or impasse)

  4. Team Members • Why do we have a bargaining team?

  5. Chief Spokesperson Not the chief “decider” One person rules at the bargaining table. Democracy rules in caucus.

  6. Note Taker or “Scribe” • If contract language is ambiguous, an arbitrator may consider matters outside the four corners of the agreement to ascertain the intent of the parties. • Bargaining history is very relevant. • What did the parties say about the language at the time it was being negotiated?

  7. The Four Disclaimers • This is a class about how to bargain, not what to bargain. • Bargaining outcome usually depends mostly on objective factors, which are often not under your control. • Successful bargaining depends very much on the personalities involved. • My experience may (or may not) be helpful to you.

  8. Buyer Seller • Is it in the right neighborhood? • Does it have enough bedrooms? • Does it have a two car garage? • Will I have a job next year? • How much did I pay for it? • How much equity do I have? • Is the real estate market going to crash? • What will I do if I can’t sell? Buying/Selling a House

  9. Price Range Buyer • Target price: Realistic estimate of “fair” price • Limit: Most that buyer would consider offering Seller • Target price: Realistic estimate of “fair” price • Limit: Least that seller would consider accepting

  10. Price Range Buyer • Target price: $125,000 • Limit: $175,000 Seller • Target price: $250,000 • Limit: $200,000 Result?

  11. Price Range Buyer • Target price: $150,000 • Limit: $200,000 Seller • Target price: $200,000 • Limit: $150,000 Result?

  12. What Are We Doing At The Table? • Explain • Justify • Persuade

  13. More Examples • Explain: What does the proposal say? What does it mean? How would it work? • Justify: Why do we need it? Why is it the right thing to do? • Persuade: Why should the other side accept it? What’s the benefit? What’s the cost of rejecting it?

  14. Stylized CommunicationSo Many Ways To Say “No” • We’re not prepared to discuss that issue at this time. • We can’t accept that proposal as it is written. • We don’t see any reason to add that language to the agreement. • I don’t think we could agree to that at this point in the negotiations. • Absolutely not! No way, no how, never, never, never!

  15. Stylized CommunicationSo Many Ways To Say “No” • That language would be extremely difficult to administer. • Why would we want to agree to that? • Your proposal is just too costly. • That concept will not be part of any voluntary agreement. • That might be something that we could look at as part of an overall settlement.

  16. What do you say when… • You’re probably willing to accept the proposal? • You really hate a proposal? • You don’t like the proposal but you might agree to it, if they give you something for it? • The idea isn’t bad, but you want the details improved?

  17. Mediation • PERB picks (and pays) mediator. • No power to decide anything or to compel parties to do anything. • Confidential process. • Mediator’s mission is to get a voluntary agreement, not necessarily a good contract. • “Les Johnson” standard

  18. Making Effective Use of the Mediator • What can the mediator do that you can’t? • Sound neutral • Be less diplomatic • Point out management’s mistakes • Make threats • How can you get him/her to do it? • What if… • Supposals

  19. What do you do if you get a “yes”? • Tentative agreements should be written down and initialed by the chief spokespersons immediately. • Should be in contract language form at time of TA or as soon as possible afterwards. • Withdrawals should be treated the same way.

  20. Matt’s Ten Rules of Successful Collective Bargaining Prepare, prepare, prepare…

  21. Matt’s Ten Rules of Successful Collective Bargaining Prepare, prepare, prepare… Respect (earn it, get it, keep it).

  22. Matt’s Ten Rules of Successful Collective Bargaining Prepare, prepare, prepare… Respect (earn it, get it, keep it). Make sure you are understood.

  23. Matt’s Ten Rules of Successful Collective Bargaining Prepare, prepare, prepare… Respect (earn it, get it, keep it). Make sure you are understood. Make sure you understand.

  24. Matt’s Ten Rules of Successful Collective Bargaining Prepare, prepare, prepare… Respect (earn it, get it, keep it). Make sure you are understood. Make sure you understand. Say what you mean, mean what you say.

  25. Matt’s Ten Rules of Successful Collective Bargaining Prepare, prepare, prepare… Respect (earn it, get it, keep it). Make sure you are understood. Make sure you understand. Say what you mean, mean what you say. Don’t make empty threats.

  26. Matt’s Ten Rules of Successful Collective Bargaining Prepare, prepare, prepare… Respect (earn it, get it, keep it). Make sure you are understood. Make sure you understand. Say what you mean, mean what you say. Don’t make empty threats. Don’t lie.

  27. Blues Brothers Exception: “It’s not a lie; it’s just bullshit.”

  28. Matt’s Ten Rules of Successful Collective Bargaining Prepare, prepare, prepare… Respect (earn it, get it, keep it). Make sure you are understood. Make sure you understand. Say what you mean, mean what you say. Don’t make empty threats. Don’t lie. Don’t make it personal.

  29. Matt’s Ten Rules of Successful Collective Bargaining Prepare, prepare, prepare… Respect (earn it, get it, keep it). Make sure you are understood. Make sure you understand. Say what you mean, mean what you say. Don’t make empty threats. Don’t lie. Don’t make it personal. Do not engage in retromingent bargaining.

  30. Webster’s New 2oth Century Dictionary, 2nd Ed. Retromingent (adjective ) discharging the urine backward

  31. Matt’s Ten Rules of Successful Collective Bargaining Prepare, prepare, prepare… Respect (earn it, get it, keep it). Make sure you are understood. Make sure you understand. Say what you mean, mean what you say. Don’t make empty threats. Don’t lie. Don’t make it personal. Do not engage in retromingent bargaining. Remember what you’re there for!