Semester: 2010 Fall
Students: Ken Gantz, James Goldschmidt, Emilie Aguirre
Challenge: What could be a more challenging to multi-party negotiation than a recurring series of three-year contract negotiations between a municipal government and five separate unions? Add to that a small town context, where town officials, negotiators, and union membership all belong to the same tight-knit community and have a shared desire to maintain strong relationships while protecting their own interests.
Students on this project will work with stakeholders at all levels of the town of Nantucket’s collective bargaining process. Their task will be to conduct a stakeholder assessment and identify strategies for creating a more integrative approach to contract negotiations, one that is consistent with legal constraints but that sets Nantucket apart as a community that can capitalize on value-creating opportunities and find contract solutions for mutual gain.
Our Work: Intensive background research and key informant interviews, geared towards understanding the strengths and weaknesses of existing negotiation patterns, coupled with recommendations on how better to structure future contract negotiations in the future.
Step 1: Background research into current municipal contract negotiation practices in the town of Nantucket, coupled with an analysis of the legal and logistical constraints on the negotiators.
Step 2: Collaborative brainstorming of potential alternate negotiating models that might address some of the current processes’ shortcomings, informed by theory and research into comparative negotiation practices in other municipalities.
Final Product: Comprehensive report of findings, coupled with recommended procedural reforms designed to make a collaborative collective bargaining process more likely.