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In traditional bargaining parties start with opposing and concrete positions. Interest-based collective bargaining differs from traditional bargaining by starting with interests, exploring options and building toward solutions.
A training program conducted by the staff of the State Conciliation Service helps the parties learn a proven method for keeping the focus on interests while maximizing the options available. The training helps negotiators learn how to find solutions based on consensus.
Prior to the training, a trainer meets with representatives of both labor and management to help the parties assess their needs, desires, and chances for success. If following this assessment the parties want to try interest-based bargaining then a training agenda is developed to address the parties' needs.
A two-day training format is recommended for parties new to interest-based bargaining. This longer version allows time for both theory and practical application in the use of problem solving techniques.
Bargaining teams that used interest-based bargaining in the past and have not significantly changed the composition of their teams may prefer the one-day refresher course. The State Conciliation service also offers a four-hour overview of the process.
The fee for local government agencies for the two-day interest-based bargaining training is $2,500. This amount can be divided in any manner agreed to by the two parties. The fee also includes two additional days of post-training facilitation services to help the parties with implementation of the interest-based process. The one day training costs $1,500 and includes one additional day of facilitation service. The charge for the four-hour overview is $700 with no followup or facilitation. State agencies pay an interagency assessment and are not subject to fees for State Conciliation services.