How to Prepare Effectively for Collective Bargaining

Course feedback

  • "

    This was a very well presented course. Easy to understand and really helpful, relevant content. 


    Betina Fleming
    University of the Witwatersrand
    Jun 2021

Why Attend?

Faced with the current challenges of the South African Employment Relations climate, attending this 1-day course will enable you to prepare for your collective bargaining process in a strategic manner in order to maximise the efficacy of the negotiation process and ultimately enhance the outcomes achieved. This course is intended to build the capacity of both employer and union negotiators for entering a collective bargaining process thoroughly prepared to maximise its value. 

You will also learn about your obligations in terms of the Code of Good Practice: Collective bargaining, industrial action and picketing and picketing rules and hear about recent decisions relating to picketing arising out of applications to the courts for orders interdicting and restraining picketers from acts of violence and intimidation in contravention of the Code.

Main Topics

  1. Approaches to negotiation
    1. Typical difficulties faced in negotiation and collective bargaining
    2. Exploring potential outcomes in negotiation
    3. Linking outcomes to approaches to negotiation
    4. Understanding positional and needs-based negotiation
    5. Creating value and claiming value - adopting a balanced approach
    6. A negotiation process model - from preparation to settlement
  2. Towards preparation
    1. Environmental scan, including a review of challenges facing the social partners, key interests of the employers, and the key objectives of the relevant unions
    2. The mandating dynamic
  3. Structuring your preparation
    1. Determining both parties' positions, interests, options (including your bargaining range), best and worst alternatives to a negotiated agreement
    2. Substantiating your positions, interests, and alternatives with data and information
    3. Working through a preparation sheet for a negotiation – role-play
    4. Practical guidelines for effective preparation
  4. Team dynamics
  5. Informing your preparation process with the principles of the LRA and the Code of Good Practice: Collective Bargaining
    1. Principles of good faith bargaining
    2. Development and support for negotiators
    3. Preparing for negotiations
    4. Use of facilitators
    5. Disclosure of information
    6. Good faith declaration
  6. Action planning