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Mastering the Collective Bargaining Process


Experience the collective bargaining process through hands-on participation in a simulated negotiation. Whether you’re a newly assigned negotiator on the management team or just looking for a refresher, you’ll get realistic insight into the emotional factors that can affect the outcome of any contract negotiation.

This class has been approved for 18.5 general credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification.

This class has been pre-approved by the Society for Human Resource Management for 21 Professional Development Credits (PDCs) towards the SHRM-SCP or SHRM-CP.


Program Agenda

Day One: 8:30am-12pm 
Getting Ready to Bargain

  • Selecting the bargaining team
  • Developing proposals
  • Contract review by negotiator
  • Contract review by operating personnel
  • The need for proposals
  • Cost data
  • Structuring a proposal
  • Long-term vs short-term contracts
  • Mediation
  • When to take a strike

Day One: 1-4:30pm
Negotiating an Agreement

  • Strategy and tactics
  • Important negotiating concepts
  • Table manners
  • Techniques
  • First meeting
  • Getting movement
  • Impasse
  • How to say no
  • Value of caucuses
  • Early settlement contract extensions, retroactivity, etc.
  • Signaling
  • Educating union bargaining committee
  • How to structure an offer
  • Communications

Team assignments
Participants are assigned to either a union or management team. Each team begins to develop strategies and plan for negotiations which begin the next morning.


Day Two: 8:30am-12pm
The collective bargaining game begins

The game reflects some of the principles taught the preceding day. Apply the various techniques which were discussed. The game focuses on current business and economic conditions to encourage discussions that are topical and pertinent to current collective bargaining situations. The design of the game allows for a wide degree of discretion when negotiating. The ultimate objective for each management and union team is to negotiate a mutually acceptable contract.

Day Two: 1-4pm
Continue the negotiations process practice activity


Day Three: 8:30am-2:30pm
The collective bargaining game continues

The collective bargaining game continues throughout the morning session. After lunch, a round-table discussion brings the teams together to discuss and summarize their negotiating experiences.

Close ▲

Benefits and Learning Outcomes

  • Apply different communication skills
  • Gain negotiating experience
  • Appreciate what it feels like when the stakes are high

Close ▲

Course Outline/Topics

  1. Professional Experience Questionnaire Collective Bargaining Game
    A)     Part I—How do you begin?
    B)     Important negotiator traits
    C)     Legal Counsel
    D)     Supporting Personnel
    E)      Experts in supporting role

  2. Assessing the Union Bargaining Team
    A)     Composition
    B)     Research of team
    C)     Pay for Negotiating

  3. Developing Language Proposals
    A)     Need for proposals
    B)     Contract review by Negotiating Team
    C)     Grievance review by Negotiating Team
    D)     Arbitration Review
    E)      Perform “Triage”

  4. Developing the Employer’s Economic Negotiating Position
    A)     Use of survey and statistics
    B)     Financial Health of Company
    C)     General Economic Assessment
    D)     Assessment of Company Strength vis-à-vis a Strike
    E)      Costing the Contract

  5. Establish Objective and Strike Authority
    A)     The Importance of Pre-Negotiation Authority
    B)     The Importance of Top Management “Buy-in”

  6. Strike Preparations
    A)     As a bargaining tool
    B)     Strike Manual
    C)     Appropriate Security

  7. Pre-Negotiation Communication
    A)     Why important?
    B)     And how much?

  8. Part II—How to Negotiate: Tactics and Techniques

  9. Sites for Collective Bargaining—Advantages and Disadvantages
    A)     Employer’s Premises
    B)     Public Buildings
    C)     Hotel/Motel
    D)     Attorneys, Banks, Etc.
    E)      Union Offices

  10. Times for Negotiations

  11. Bargaining Techniques
    A)     First Meeting

  12. Mediation-_Federal and State
    A)     General Rule

  13. Strikes
    A)     Types of Strikes
    B)     Company Rights
    C)     Employee Rights
    D)     Settling a Strike

  14. Lockouts
    A)     Purpose
    B)     Hiring of Replacements
    C)     Employee Entitlement to Unemployment Compensation Benefits

  15. Proposals and Articles

Close ▲


This program can be applied toward the:

Course fee includes morning and afternoon refreshment breaks, lunches, instructional material and tuition.
Wed.-Fri., Sept. 30-Oct. 2
Location: UWM School of Continuing Education (Click link for directions)
Instructor: Thomas W. Mackenzie, Shareholder, Lindner & Marsack, SC, Milwaukee, WI
$1115: Register by Wed., Sept. 16
$1165: Register on or after Thu., Sept. 17 Discount Available
CEUs: 2.1
Program No. 5045-7951
Register Now
Mon.-Wed., Apr. 18-20, 2016
Location: UWM School of Continuing Education (Click link for directions)
Instructor: Thomas W. Mackenzie, Shareholder, Lindner & Marsack, SC, Milwaukee, WI
$1115: Register by Mon., Apr. 4, 2016
$1165: Register on or after Tue., Apr. 5, 2016 Discount Available
CEUs: 2.1
Enrollment Limit: 25
Program No. 5045-8631
Registration Deadline: Mon., Apr. 18, 2016
Register Now
For more information, contact:
Mary Piwaron, Associate Outreach Specialist,, 227-3216


Spring 2015 Labor Relations Brochure

Or download the pdf

Comments on this Program
"A must attend for anyone sitting at the table during negotiations."

Rachael Zebro
Human Resources Consultant
Nuclear Management Co.