Labor / Management Relationship Philosophy

Interest Based Bargaining Approach

Pittsfield Charter Township has utilized an Interest Based Bargaining (IBB) approach for labor negotiations as a means to understand and fulfill employee needs when possible. This approach has been in place since 2009, at which time 4- and 5-year contracts were negotiated, meeting both party's interests and concerns. This process is very different from traditional bargaining in which position proposals are exchanged back and forth between the parties without much discussion of the matter. With IBB, the parties follow the outlined structure:

  • Identify Issues - Problem to be solved
  • Focus on Interests, Not Positions - Needs and concerns underlying the issues
  • Identify Options - Alternatives
  • Look at Standards - Examples include time, money, and legality

Labor-Management Relationship Enhancements

IBB is a respectful process that provides flexibility through enhanced communication, a clear understanding of the interests and concerns that are facing the group, and an opportunity to generate and consider options to satisfy particular interests that may never have been considered before. Further, it enhances the labor-management relationship as follows:

  • Sharing relevant information that is critical for effective solutions
  • Focusing on issues, not personalities
  • Focusing on the present and future, not the past
  • Focusing on the interests underlying the issues, not only on positions
  • Focusing on mutual interests, and helping to satisfy the other party's interests as well as your own
  • Developing and evaluating options to satisfy those interests based on objective criteria, rather than power or leverage