School districts and unions frustrated with adversarial bargaining approaches can partner with the Consortium for Educational Change (CEC) to implement Interest-Based Bargaining (IBB) – a process that typically leads to both contract agreements and stronger working relationships.
This collaborative process increases the ability to reach shared goals while maintaining advocacy responsibilities. Unlike positional approaches, IBB provides opportunities for bargaining teams to learn if their interests are conflicting, shared, or complementary – before they seek solutions. It requires teams to describe issues in order to articulate interests, brainstorm potential options, and select solutions to meet their interests. IBB increases trust among bargaining teams and individuals because it reduces adversarial behavior.
Participants share that the process:
- Provides high quality agreements between union and management
- Constructs creative solutions that benefit both parties
- Reduces the “us vs. them” mentality
- Builds productive relationships between union and management
“What we found exceeded my wildest expectations,” says Dr. Ehren Jarrett, Superintendent of Rockford School District 205 in Illinois. “We actually strengthened our relationship during the process. We built a strong set of relationships, systems and processes through bargaining.”
Most union and management teams that engage in this bargaining process believe that the keys to IBB success are external training and facilitation. CEC has prepared trainers and facilitators across the country to assist districts and unions in this unique and successful approach to the bargaining process.
To learn more, please contact Kathy Tooredman or call 630-495-0507.
For districts in Illinois, IEA and CEC in partnership have prepared trainers and facilitators to assist districts and unions. Please note that, for IEA affiliated districts and locals, the process is co-led by a team of CEC and IEA facilitators. Other arrangements will be made for non-IEA affiliated districts and unions in Illinois.