This course establishes a foundation in collective bargaining, with a focus on identifying and analyzing key aspects of a contract and how they relate to your role. You will gain insights into the bargaining process and what happens when negotiations break down. Those insights will prepare you to assess contracts and determine the requirements for administering its key components.

This course will help build your skills in the “nuts and bolts” of effective labor negotiations. You will start by identifying the organizational goals central to your bargaining strategy, then see how to move from these business goals to negotiation goals. You'll take a look at the impact of external factors and share your analysis of these factors in a discussion with your peers. Your deep understanding of the collective bargaining agreement, the unit, and the employer will lay the groundwork for success. This course provides a combination of theory and practical applications, down to expert advice on how to manage the administrative aspects of negotiations. Finally, you will choose an appropriate collective bargaining strategy for your organization. Will you take a fostering approach or a forcing approach? And how do you determine which is best? How do you mix the two approaches effectively, and what are the pitfalls you need to avoid? And lastly, you'll evaluate behaviors and styles that make negotiating so challenging. This course includes a negotiation simulation with peers.

It is recommended to only take this course if you have completed Collective Bargaining or have equivalent experience.

The parties in any collective bargaining contract negotiation are seeking to balance costs and benefits in order to achieve mutual agreement. Developing proficiency in assessing relative value and costs of a benefit improves your ability to compare apples to oranges. Costing a contract entails a comfort with the fundamentals of workplace math and statistics, as well as the ability to effectively communicate this aspect of negotiation. Are you prepared to estimate numbers and explain them?

The importance of this foundation is often underestimated. This course fills gaps for both management and labor by developing a new mindset for costing a contract. You will use basic costing tools to calculate the value of a collective bargaining contract with a focus on calculating and communicating relative value and costs. You will explore the six key principles to estimate costs in order to create agreement proposals.

At the conclusion of the course, you will have applied the tools and principles to a sample proposal and counterproposal. You will have practiced the skills to assess the contract's impact to employees and developed strategies for educating stakeholders. Whether you‘re making a counterproposal or you're ready to get a contract ratified, you will be better able to explain your numbers with the confidence and experience gained from this course.

It is recommended to only take this course if you have completed Collective Bargaining and Effective Labor Negotiations or have equivalent experience.

When grievances occur, taking a strategic approach is the key to productive outcomes. It takes preparation and a solid grasp of the facts and context of a situation to conclude whether a complaint is a grievance that should be heard and resolved. A complaint becomes a grievance when the issue is specified in the contract language. By reading the grievance clause carefully, you can determine whether a complaint should be heard as a grievance and consider resolution possibilities from the perspective of both parties.

This course will advance your ability to read grievance clauses effectively. You will explore the specific language included in these clauses and recognize meaning provided by common rules of interpretation. With the tools needed for solving problems and the confidence to employ them, you can overcome potential obstacles in the grievance resolution process.

It is recommended to only take this course if you have completed Collective Bargaining, Effective Labor Negotiations, and Principles of Costing or have equivalent experience.

For a variety of reasons, workplace grievances aren't always resolved through negotiation and require arbitration. The outcome of the arbitration hearing is determined by the arbitrator, but as a participant in an arbitration you have a critical role in the process and the results. In this course you will review the typical components of a hearing and, using proven processes and tools, practice the steps of arbitration.

You'll discover what a hearing looks like, how a hearing proceeds, and who participates. You'll analyze cases to identify facts critical to your argument and develop a theory that will lead to an issue statement. By becoming familiar with strategies for questioning witnesses, you will be prepared to present your opening and closing arguments.

It is recommended to only take this course if you have completed Collective Bargaining, Effective Labor Negotiations, Principles of Costing, and Handling Grievances or have equivalent experience.

Dates: January 17 - February 4, 2022, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 10:00am – 1:30pm (ET)

Course 1 – Interpreting Labor Law

Discover how to identify the key legal principles and considerations involved in working in a union environment. These include unfair labor practices, concerted protected activity conducted during union organizing, good-faith bargaining, and day-to-day operations. By the end of these sessions, you will be able to identify possible unfair labor practices before they arise, discern the elements of good- and bad-faith bargaining, recognize when you have to negotiate with the union on midterm bargaining changes, understand the appropriate behavior of supervisors and managers during an organizing drive, and know when employees can strike or engage in other work actions.

Course 2 - Collective Bargaining Agreements

Recognize how contract language and past practice may be interpreted by an arbitrator. You will review a methodology for analyzing contract language disputes and identifying key contract clauses in collective bargaining agreements. You will work on a case-study practice session in contract drafting and interpretation.

Course 3 – Negotiation Skills for the Workplace

Negotiation is a fundamental practice for resolving conflicts and reaching agreements to solve an array of workplace problems. During these interactive sessions, study and practice negotiation skills through role playing and experiential learning.

Starting with simple, one-on-one negotiations of everyday situations, you will progress to more complex group negotiations, including informal and formal workplace negotiation situations. You will gain insight into your own negotiation biases, weaknesses, and strengths, and build negotiation confidence and competency. You will discover how to plan a negotiation strategy and practice the communication skills necessary to surface the underlying needs and interests driving the negotiation in order to craft agreements.

Attendance at all live sessions is required for successful completion of the certificate program.


  • February 7 – 11, 2022 Tuesday and Thursday, 10:00am - 1:30pm (ET)
  • February 14 - 18, 2022 Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 10:00am - 1:30pm (ET)

Conflict is a constant feature of the workplace. In these sessions, you will discover how to analyze and manage conflict situations particular to a union environment. You will study and practice key skills on how to resolve conflict and solve problems as well as how to utilize the formal disciplinary system when necessary. The focus is on conflict diagnoses, interest-based problem solving, labor-management meetings and communication, and the principles of just cause and progressive discipline.

Attendance at all live sessions is required for successful completion of the certificate program.


  • February 7 – 11, 2022 Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 10:00am – 1:30pm (ET)
  • February 14 - 18, 2022 Tuesday 10am - 1:30pm; Thursday 10:00am - 4:00pm (ET)

Explore how to successfully implement goals and objectives at the bargaining table. This includes understanding the differences between competitive and collaborative bargaining as well as at-the-table protocols, customs, and techniques unique to collective bargaining. In between sessions, participants will work in small group teams to prepare for bargaining.

In the final sessions, you will engage in a full-day collective bargaining simulation in which you will negotiate in a small group setting against experienced labor relations professionals, with ample opportunity for ongoing, real-time feedback and discussion. You will practice the skills necessary to engage in collective bargaining as a chief negotiator.

Attendance at all live sessions is required for successful completion of the certificate program.

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