Power and Participation in Negotiations

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“At a time when union demand is higher than it’s been in almost a century, Rules to Win By is required reading. This book is armor for the generation of workers poised to gain power worldwide for the working class.”
- Sara Nelson, int’l president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO

June 2024

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About this Workshop

How unions negotiate is a strategic choice. Union members seldom experience the actual process of collective negotiations over issues that are crucial, urgent, and relevant to their own lives. The purpose of this workshop is to discuss how negotiations can be different—very different—from what has become the norm.

We will build off the momentum of the release of the book Rules to Win By: Power and Participation in Negotiation by Jane McAlevey and Abby Lawlor to stimulate a robust conversation about collective bargaining: how it is practiced, how it can be improved, and how the practice and process of negotiations relate to power, union governance, and democracy in the workplace and beyond.

This three-session workshop will focus on the “why” and “how” of moving towards high-power, high-participation negotiations. You will use McAlevey and Lawlor’s book to understand, debate, and discuss the advantages and challenges of shifting the way you negotiate. Through examining the book’s case studies, you will learn how workers used the collective bargaining process to achieve transformative contracts through deep organizing and member-driven strategy. At a time when the right to strike is under attack around the world, and with a decision pending in the Supreme Court case Glacier Northwest v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters that could significantly increase the risks of striking for unions in the United States, this discussion will show how an organized membership and high-power, high-participation negotiations are key to an effective system of collective bargaining.

Who, What, When, Where: The Essential Details

  • Who: You and a group of at least nine other colleagues* you recruit and coordinate before and during the study session.
  • When: Three Wednesday sessions on June 7, 14, and 21 from 5-7pm Pacific / 8-10pm Eastern on Zoom.
  • What: The workshop will move through chapters of Rules to Win By: Power and Participation in Union Negotiations. You will hear from union members featured in the book, have work time within your union to make plans to move to high-power, high-participation negotiations, and have the opportunity to meet and learn from unionists from around the US.
  • Course Fee: $200 for your group of 10 people. Each additional person will be $20.
  • Your coordinator can register here today! Once registered, your coordinator will be emailed the study guide and logistics for the first session. You will receive a copy of the book with the registration fee.

Organizing Your Team

Successful organizational change typically results from a team endeavor, not a solo effort. For this reason we are requiring you to create a team of at least 10 people in order to register for this workshop. Your team will need one coordinator to organize the meetings and readings for your group. Coordinators will attend a 30-minute orientation session prior to the workshop to quickly review the sessions and best practices for using Zoom, leading discussions, and facilitating the discussion questions. Any coordinator who doesn’t feel comfortable with Zoom can stay longer in the orientation session to practice some key Zoom tools. A pro-level Zoom account is required for the coordinator; it will enable you to host a meeting for longer than the 40-minute limit of a basic Zoom account. Anyone is eligible to serve as a coordinator if they are committed and well organized, and have access to a pro-level Zoom account.

Facilitators

Jane McAlevey

Senior Policy Fellow

janemcalevey@berkeley.edu

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