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Interest Based Bargaining, also known as Mutual Gains,  Integrative or Principled Bargaining, is an alternative style of negotiating that differs from the traditional adversarial means of negotiating collective agreements. In Interest Based negotiations the parties use a problem solving/consensus approach that focusses on their interests instead of the positional tug of war style to negotiations.

Interest Based Bargaining, when successful, can result in a better relationship between labour and management and a collective agreement that better addresses their issues. A certain amount of up-front training is necessary for Interest Based Bargaining to work. This training (normally conducted in two or three days) focusses on familiarizing the parties with the concept and also on providing them with the problem-solving skills they will need once they sit down to negotiate. Prior to commencing with training, a preliminary meeting is held with the representatives of both parties to determine whether they are prepared to enter into the process (it's not going to work for everyone and there are some relationships where it is unlikely to work).

If you're frustrated with the traditional approach and would like to discuss interest based negotiating, give us a call.  We can also suggest ways to modify the process so that it is more likely to succeed in your environment.