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School Business Affairs


In times of limited resources, the likelihood of difficult negotiations between labor and management may increase even in the best of school districts. The negotiation process can range from traditional to positional to competitive to a more collaborative and cooperative interest-based approach. The most productive approach is a matter of debate and can vary from district to district.

Regardless of the negotiation model used, bargaining can break down because of poor relations between parties, a lack of understanding of each other’s needs, and a variety of other reasons. When breakdowns occur, it is difficult for either side to achieve its desired goals. In addition, hostile negotiations can contribute to a negative work environment and tarnish the reputation of the district.

What can the negotiating parties do to get back on track and move toward a reasonable solution when things go wrong? By exercising prudent leadership and considering the three strategies offered here, school business officials may be able to turn stalled negotiations into positive outcomes.

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This article originally appeared in the May 2009 School Business Affairs magazine and is reprinted with permission of the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO). The text herein does not necessarily represent the views or policies of ASBO International, and use of this imprint does not imply any endorsement or recognition by ASBO International and its officers or affiliates.

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Association of School Business Officials International





Place of Publication

Reston, VA



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