Negotiating the agreement

Negotiations are part of the collective bargaining process. They refer to any form of discussion, either formal or informal, that is used to reach an agreement.

Collective bargaining is an important way of:

  • providing for real discussion and negotiation over terms and conditions of employment, and
  • helping with building productive relationships between employers, employees and unions.

Negotiations form a part of the bargaining process and include formal and informal discussion designed to reach agreement. Negotiating that supports productive workplaces usually involves discussion between the parties about topics such as wages, conditions and the quality of the workplace. Some important parts of negotiating are:

  • sharing relevant information for effective solutions
  • focusing on issues and their underlying interests, not personalities
  • focusing on the present and future, not the past
  • recognising and understanding the other party’s interests as well as your own
  • developing options
  • evaluating the options against objective criteria.

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