$0.00 – $6.00
Nine-party, multi-issue contract negotiation among three coalitions involved in the building trades; includes internal coalition meetings before the external negotiations
Three coalitions representing building contractors, building trade unions, and users of contract services are about to begin contract negotiations. Prior to the full negotiation session, each coalition will meet to discuss internal differences. Each of the three coalitions has three members representing a different internal group. They will focus on wage increases, health benefits, and double-breasting (contractors using non-union workers through subsidiary contractors). These have been outlined in the Proposed Framework for the New Building Trades Contract distributed by the staff of the Builders Association (a member of the building contractor's coalition). In addition, a number of other issues will need to be worked out. These derive mostly from prior relationships and skewed perceptions. A threat of a strike exists, which would disadvantage all three groups. Their objective is to reach an agreement that all parties can accept.
- The differences in the way the players value issues open the door for trading. The parties will have to decide what they are willing to trade and what their BATNA's are. This game provides the opportunity not only for trading across issues, but also within issues.
- The two-tier negotiation suggests a double meaning of "success." Parties must make both substantive and procedural decisions. If the coalitions do not embark upon the main negotiation with a united front; the meaning of "success" could easily become very individualistic.
- The process of creating and claiming value in this game is quite explicit. Although there are only three main issues, the parties may add more or less importance to each by "reading in" certain assumptions about past or future relations.
- This is a good exercise for people in actual contract negotiations, especially those facing multi-trade bargaining problems.
- The important role that external parties can play is illustrated by the use of the media in this case. Parties must strategically manage external relationships in order to have the desired effect on the negotiation.
- This game allows the players to explore the influence of threats and promises on the behavior of other parties. These must be handled carefully to have the intended effect.
This game works best with nine players (one per role). A game manager is needed to answer questions and collect written versions of each coalition's negotiation objectives following preliminary one-hour (at minimum) meetings. The ensuing negotiations should run about two hours. More time is preferable. Debriefings take approximately one and one-half hours.
For all parties:
- General Information
- Proposed Framework for the New Building Trades Contract
Confidential Advice to the:
- Builders Association
- Technical Association
- Basic Contractors
- Woodworkers Union
- Welders Union
- Electronics Union
- Amalgamated Refineries
- Metropolitan Power Corporation
- Regional Hospital Association
- All of the above
- Teacher's notes
Agenda control; Anchoring; Apologies; Assumptions; BATNA; Bi-level negotiations; Bluffing; Caucusing; Collaborative problem-solving; Communication; Competition v. Cooperation; Consensus building; Cost-benefit analysis; Constituents; Currently perceived choice analysis; Drafting; Emotions; Ethics; Fairness; Group process; Interest analysis; Interests, quantifying; Joint game; Labor Issues; Labor Relations; Legitimacy; Meaning of "success"; Negotiating entry; Meeting design; Misrepresentation; Objective criteria; Offers, first; Packaging; Partisan perceptions; Precedents; Preparation; Pressure tactics; Public opinion; Recurring negotiations; Reservation price; Risk aversion; Risk perception; Separating the people from the problem; Threats; Time constraints; Trading, issues; Trust
Collective Bargaining at Central Division
Contract Negotiations in the Building Trades Attributes
|Time required:||5 or more hours|
|Number of participants:||10|
|Neutral third party present:||Facilitator|
|Teaching notes available:||No|