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View Diary: Chicago teachers vote overwhelmingly to strike. Here's why they're right to ask for a big raise. (212 comments)

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  •  There are many ways... (1+ / 0-)
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    rcnewton

    ...to negotiate.

    One is to set outrageous demands and expect to make major "compromises". This approach is often unwise. First, the optics are bad -- which is especially a problem in a public sector job. Second, you end up planning to "give in" without most of your demands being met. This really is not a good position to be in because you are now negotiating how deep and fast a slide down you will take, not seriously defending a reasonable demand. Third, the next time you come to the negotiating table, the other side knows that you do make major concessions because you have in the past.

    Another approach is to set a "take it or leave it" approach and refuse to negotiate (except, of course, to meet "good faith" requirements by offering to trade things but without changing the "net net"). This approach is usually unwise as it makes you appear inflexible. It also gives the other side no room to "save face" -- and this is an unwise position to put the other side in.

    Generally a better way is to make a reasonable demand slightly above what you expect to end with and make it clear that there's not a lot of room for negotiation -- and be willing to fight hard (including, if needed, in a Union job to strike for months to prove that point or, in a non Union job, to quit). This approach has good optics because the demands are reasonable and it also makes your position stronger in future negotiations. It also leaves a little "face saving" room for your opponent while also allowing you to show yourself to be "reasonable" and "willing to make compromises".

    It sounds like the CTU chose the first approach. Perhaps the Union leaders know what they are doing but from a distance, it doesn't look like a great approach.

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