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ERIC Number: ED421778
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Influence of Informal Power Structures on School Board-Teacher Union Contract Negotiations.
Miller-Whitehead, Marie
A study examined behaviors of participants trained in a nonadversarial model of contract negotiation, focusing on possible influences of formal and informal power structures, written and unwritten rules, and firmly entrenched adversarial behavior on the bargaining process. Participants were representatives of a district's teacher union and board of education. Over time, as data from observations, focus groups, and interviews were analyzed, certain behavior patterns emerged. Although training had stressed the importance of nonadversarial seating arrangements, several team members reverted to a traditional "across-the-table" arrangement. Whereas collaborative training had emphasized full-team participation, team members relied on chief negotiators to do most of the talking. Participants also complained about the length of time required to use specific bargaining steps learned in training. Although the collaborative model broke down in several areas, participants did adhere to predetermined stop and start times. Some participants resorted to score-keeping behaviors, suggesting that training time had been insufficient. Although old-style behaviors surfaced, all interviewees commented favorably on the new bargaining method. (Contains 36 references.) (MLH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A