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ERIC Number: EJ914666
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 8
ISSN: ISSN-0036-651X
Collaboration and the Collective-Bargaining Process in Public Education
Noggle, Matthew
School Business Affairs, v76 n8 p12-13 Oct 2010
In the vast majority of school districts, the collective-bargaining process has evolved little during the past few decades. Teachers unions have successfully represented teachers' economic and job security interests by linking them to collective bargaining and procedural due process rights, but district administrators continue to make the decisions about educational delivery and quality. For the most part, neither side seems to recognize much need for a collaborative bond. In fact, very little information is available about how collaborative labor-management models are established and maintained. However, in many districts, teachers unions and district administrators are beginning to incorporate collaborative actions to their collective-bargaining processes and daily interactions. Teacher contracts are beginning to include nontraditional issues such as teacher professional development, teacher quality, instructional delivery, student achievement standards, and educational reform. The essence of collaborative bargaining is rooted in a joint emphasis on communicating interests and avoiding taking positions. Both parties should view the final negotiated agreement as a flexible, living document, subject to change as needed. This approach allows districts and unions the opportunity to address problems as they arise rather than waiting for formal negotiations to resume. When the process is collaborative, contract negotiations are often shorter, less time is spent on labor relations, and fewer grievances are filed between contracts. Discussions throughout the district remain focused on educational issues rather than contractual issues. Expanding teacher authority through shared decision making cultivates greater ownership in the successes of the district. Collaborative bargaining also opens other avenues for collaboration and problem solving. The author contends that a district's readiness for collaborative bargaining depends in part on both sides having an impetus for change. If either side is satisfied with the traditional approach, collaborative bargaining will not succeed. If either side expects to win at the other team's expense, collaborative bargaining will not succeed because the premise of collaborative bargaining is that neither side wins unless both sides win.
Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO). 11401 North Shore Drive, Reston, VA 20190. Tel: 866-682-2729; Fax: 703-478-0205; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A