Labor/Management Mediation

Services

Ki ThoughtBridge, provides the following labor/management services to clients:
 
  • Basic and Advanced Negotiation Skills Workshops - Whether one reaches an agreement and the quality of the agreement one achieves at the negotiating table, is highly dependent on the skill and experience of the negotiators around the table. Ki ThoughtBridge provides basic and advanced negotiation workshops designed to transfer state of the art negotiating skills, tools and processes to its clients. Negotiation workshops range from two to five days depending on the needs, skills and experience of the clients.
  • Partisan Advisor or Consultant – Some clients hire Ki ThoughtBridge to advise and support their negotiation team. In that capacity, Ki ThoughtBridge will serve as the team advisor and consultant on both negotiation process design as well as on thorny substantive issues that will need to be negotiated and resolved.  
  • Negotiation Coach - Negotiation team leaders or chief negotiators seek and get coaching on internal negotiation team issues as well as on skill and process issues regarding upcoming or ongoing contract negotiations. The negotiation coach, can, depending on the need and the circumstances, equip the person being coached with new or additional tools, skills and processes, or develop and/or adjust negotiation strategy as circumstances change, or prepare the person to deal with an especially difficult negotiator or diagnose why negotiations aren’t going as anticipated.  
  • Team Preparation for Upcoming Negotiation – Negotiating on a team is more challenging and complex than negotiating as the sole representative of your organization. Yet data on outcomes makes clear the extra time and effort spent on developing a cohesive, well coordinated negotiation team is well worth the investment. A cohesive, coordinated negotiation team must not only develop a common vision and strategy for the negotiation process and a common definition of success, they must also candidly assess the skills they as a team are going to need at the negotiating table and then make decisions on roles and responsibilities commensurate with that assessment. Finally the team must develop a communication process that allows them the flexibility they will need as things change during the negotiation process.  
  • Joint Labor Management Negotiation Training - When union and management negotiation teams have had a history of hostile, adversarial contract negotiations, and/or want to change the nature and culture of union/management working relationships, Ki ThoughtBridge will provide joint labor/management negotiation workshops. In those workshops, management and labor learn and use the same negotiation vocabulary, frameworks, processes, and tools. They also tackle past history and issues that have kept them from developing a collaborative working relationship. Joint Training Workshops range from three to five days. In the joint workshops, union and management negotiation teams:
    • Learn and practice collaborative negotiation skills, tools and processes.
    • Improve trust, communication and the working relationship by addressing issues that could get in the way of effective negotiations before they sit down at the negotiating table. 
    • Develop ground rules, a plan, an agenda and timelines for their upcoming contract negotiations.
  • Joint Launch of Actual Negotiation Sessions – Some clients not only ask Ki ThoughtBridge to train both teams in a new model of collaborative negotiation, they also ask Ki ThoughtBridge to act as facilitators:
    • At the initial negotiation planning sessions; 
    • During the first few days of actual contract negotiations or;
    • When they tackle critical issues that will be a source of great tension or controversy at the negotiating table.
  • Facilitation and/or Mediation of Entire Contract Negotiations Process – Some clients ask Ki ThoughtBridge to not only train them, but also to facilitate the entire contract negotiations process from beginning to end.  In that role, Ki ThoughtBridge acts as neutral facilitators whose job is to help both parties reach an agreement that satisfies their major interests and will gain the approval of their constituents.
  • Improving Union Management Working Relationships – Clients focused on the long term, will often ask us to work with them on how to fundamentally change the adversarial hostile relationship with the union to a collaborative respectful working relationship. The best time to do this is well before actual contract negotiations begin. That way, the parties can test out these new ways of working together in a low risk environment.   
 

Related Case Study

Corning Painted Post New York School Districts
A fragmented school board’s inability to unit to address major fiscal and facilities challenges facing its school put the quality of education for its students and community confidence in the board at risk.
 

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