The second step in collective bargaining is the development of bargaining strategies ; with the third step being the negotiation of the agreement itself before the final step of formalizing the agreement. Formulating an effective strategy in collective bargaining is important in determining a positive conclusion to the process. The employer would normally have a written strategy that includes a list of possible proposals by the union and plans to deal with a possible strike. The union will normally present demands that are inflated to allow room for negotiation. Arbitration is a method for settling disputes out of court, and involves a third party which has the power to make a final, binding decision. Arbitration is one of the two major methods for settling a dispute out of court. The other is mediation. Mediation involves a third party helping the two parties to reach an agreement, but the mediator does not have the power to impose a settlement. On the other hand, an arbitrator helps resolve a dispute, but has the power to make a decision which binds the two parties. The US collective bargaining system is adversarial but the practice of interest -based bargaining has become more popular recently and it concentrates on resolving mutual problems for the long-term benefit of all parties. Interest-based bargaining adopts a problem-solving approach that is effective for all concerned. When unions formulate a settlement agreement for one company, they then attempt to use this settlement when negotiating with related companies. This type of bargaining is known as pattern bargaining. The main impact of unionization on employers is the inability of the management to unilaterally make HR decisions. The management will not have complete power over making HR decisions since the union would like to have their voice heard over matters that affect the employees. These powers can be worn down at the bargaining table, at a grievance procedure, and through strikes. Employers will try to discourage employees from forming a union by emphasizing the present good employer-employee relations as well as focusing on the unfavorable elements of unionization. Unfavorable elements include strikes and union dues. Unions also commit unfair labor practices and these may be highlighted by employers.
Employers want to avoid unionization and so many employers have adopted strategies such as offering better wages and benefits, improving work conditions, training the HRM in modern HR skills such as staff motivation and job design and creating formal procedures to handle grievances and complaints by employees. One of the main reasons why workers unionize is that they feel that their grievances are not dealt with properly. So, by instituting proper formal procedures such as peer-review committees and step-review complaint systems, employees' grievances should be appropriately aired and handled to the satisfaction of all parties.
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