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.
You are required to have completed the following course or have equivalent experience before taking this course:
Key Course Takeaways
Review and apply the math concepts you will need to use during costing
Estimate costs in order to create proposals and manipulate ballpark estimates during the negotiation process
Develop communication strategies for explaining contract proposals to stakeholders
Differentiate between the value and costs of various proposals
Arthur Wheaton is Director of Labor Studies and works in the Cornell ILR Buffalo Co-Lab. He also works for the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution. Professor Wheaton’s expertise includes workplace training, negotiations, costing out a contract, and conflict resolution, as well as auto and aerospace industrial relations.
Prior to joining the ILR faculty in 1999, Professor Wheaton was with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was project manager for the Labor Aerospace Research Agenda.
Author of numerous publications, Professor Wheaton earned a B.A. in Multidisciplinary Social Science with a concentration in Political Science, History, and Economics at Michigan State University. He has an MLIR from the Michigan State School of Labor and Industrial Relations.