Collective Bargaining Training: Labor Relations and Negotiating

Contract training but more specifically collective bargaining training has become more and more prevalent since labor relations continue to be one of the most complex areas of negotiation and dispute resolution. It is no secret that there are many companies and businesses that take advantage of unfair labor practices that exploit the workforce and drive profits without compassion. This was particularly common during the industrial revolution, which saw workers harmed in the course of business with little to no acknowledgment or concern from management.

As a result of the reaction of many employees to these conditions, employees began to explore ways to use their collective bargaining power to contract and agree on fair conditions with their employers.  As they began to bargain and bring attention to their objectives, unions were forced to acknowledge this shift in the labor movement, and collective bargaining began.

Today, collective bargaining is a practice within many fields of study across the country and the world. Yet many people lack the skills to make collective bargaining agreements and negotiations worth their time. Through collective bargaining training, participants learn how to work for their interests while participating in negotiations that strengthen the parties’ understanding and contact with one another. This article will explore collective bargaining and introduce courses and programs that will encourage more good-faith bargaining in the future.

The Power of a Collective Bargaining Agreement

Collective bargaining is a form of labor-management relations that exists to ensure that workers are being treated fairly while on the job. Bargaining is collective because it combines the interests of the workforce and has a representative or a union negotiate on behalf of the group.

This type of collaborative bargaining allows the parties to negotiate without having to hear from hundreds or thousands of individual employees. Most often, a labor union will participate in a good-faith bargaining process to ensure that employment includes a livable wage and that benefits protect the workforce and their professional skills. This type of bargaining shifts the focus from the person to the consensus of the group.

A collective bargaining agreement ensures that the interest of the greater group is being presented to management and that the participants can use their power as a collective to gain more ground. Through developing and understanding the agreement, the parties can have their needs met and prepare for any dispute that may arise under the contract.

Many agreements will include dispute resolution clauses, such as an arbitration clause requiring disputes to be decided through arbitration. When these details are laid out, disputes are resolved without costing either party significant value and ensuring that the process is clear.

The Collective Bargaining Process

The bargaining process will vary from one labor union to another, but the techniques and skills that form the basic process are useful knowledge to store for processing these claims in the future.


The first step in the process is to prepare for the negotiation. This is where the participants will research their proposals and put together an analysis of the law and issues that affect their position. The labor union may contact a labor relations attorney.


After they have prepared, the union or the representative and the business will participate in negotiations. The goal of the company is to meet the interest of the workers without costing themselves a significant amount of money. If the parties are unable to resolve this through interest-based bargaining or collaborative bargaining, the workers’ unions may strike.

Drafting a Contract

If the parties reach a resolution that is acceptable to all sides during the negotiation, they will create a contract where the parties lay out the stipulated terms and how to resolve issues in the future.

Collective Bargaining Training

To become a better advocate for whichever side one is on, participating in training for collective bargaining can be incredibly helpful. This type, of course, will ensure that the students have adequate practice, an analysis of the law, and preparation to practice wherever they choose, whether that be California or New York.

Within a training program, which can take place at a university or online, the students learn collective bargaining strategies and techniques to better achieve their goals. They may learn how to participate in interest-based bargaining, which will identify the interests of the respective parties and bargain to create value through those interests. This takes careful analysis of the law and the interests at play throughout the negotiation, but with practice, a person will be able to master interest-based bargaining.

If you are interested in learning more about collective interest-based bargaining, or other alternate dispute resolutions, check out our training courses and more!

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