Several years ago, the authors of this blog toured the United States to glean what Australian employers could learn from the US enterprise bargaining experience. This led to the widely reported “7 lessons from the US for successful bargaining”.

The observations made then remain pertinent today. Those lessons are:

  1. The groundwork for a successful bargaining campaign began three years ago;
  2. Enterprise bargaining time is not engagement time;
  3. Successful bargaining campaigns are business-wide and top-led;
  4. Employers ought lead the communication agenda: “tit for tat” communications are rarely effective;
  5. Successful bargainers seek to control the bargaining agenda;
  6. Plan in advance for BATNA [Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement] and fallout; and
  7. The individual relationship remains paramount amidst a collective-based framework.

Should any of our readers require any further details on the above, we would be happy to provide this to you.

We are also in the process of developing our “7 keys to negotiating collective agreements in Australia”. The focus of this topic lies in the conducting of the negotiation itself. Whilst there is much commentary in the Australia context on the legal environment as it impacts collective bargaining, there is precious little by way of the application of negotiating fundamentals to what many businesses regard as the most challenging of negotiations.