Written principally for an Australian audience, the Guide is a remoulding and update of a text first produced by Jerome Barrett and John O’Dowd for trans-Atlantic and especially Irish readers. The first edition focused on bargaining, but the canvas has now been expanded to include consultation and problem-solving. The Guide sets the scene, contrasting traditional adversarial and interest-based bargaining but also explores the scope for hybridized options to suit different parties’ different circumstances. It provides some instructive Australian case studies, and considers how the Fair Work Act helps and hinders the mutual gains endeavour. The role of independent facilitators and the Fair Work Commission with its New Approaches initiative is closely examined as well.
Workplace bargaining is a major theatre of employer-employee engagement. There are a variety of ways in which bargaining can be played out, and a particular country’s industrial history usually explains why the prevailing model is what it is. This Guide looks at the range of possibilities but puts centre-stage the approach known as ‘interest-based’ bargaining (IBB). The idea with IBB is that parties should set out to identify and work at their — and their counterparts’ (and this is important) — underlying needs rather than hammering away at their competing positions. To the extent they can achieve this, a more productive dialogue and better results can be had.
Collaboration is a matter of choice. One might think inherently so, but in fact there are societies and frameworks which pretty much oblige people to engage intensively — to work together. Not so in Australian workplace relations. Cooperation is talked up, but not directed. It is an option, and one that can only be exercised jointly. Even the first overtures must be by agreement. So a case for collaboration needs to be made, good enough to persuade not just a party but the parties. And the case needs to be made repeatedly: at the inception of the inquiry, as the project gets underway, as agreements are implemented and with ever-changing circumstance after that. And circumstances change all the time, year-in and year-out. In a sceptical world, collaboration is a demanding option.
- Authors: Thompson, Barrett, & O’Dowd
- Title: The Collaborative Workplace Option — Interest-Based Bargaining, Consultation and Problem-Solving: A Guide For Parties and Practitioners
- Pages: xviii + 171
- ISBN 978-1-928309-18-5 PDF ebook
- ISBN 978-1-928309-19-2 EPUB ebook
- ISBN 978-1-928309-17-8 Print edition
- Publication Date: March 2018
- Publishing House: Siber Ink
- Target Market: Trade union and employer negotiators, employee and employer representatives, workplace mediators and facilitators, consultative committee members, HR and IR managers, labour and employment lawyers, labour tribunal commissioners and officers, workplace change agents generally