Citation
Interest-based bargaining

Material Information

Title:
Interest-based bargaining an alternative to position-based bargaining for public school employee wage and benefit negotiations
Creator:
Wall, Fred Allen
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
xiii, 232 leaves : ; 28 cm

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Collective bargaining -- Case studies -- Colorado ( lcsh )
Interest arbitration -- Case studies -- Colorado ( lcsh )
Public schools -- Employees -- Wages -- Case studies -- Colorado ( lcsh )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 227-232).
General Note:
School of Education and Human Development
Statement of Responsibility:
by Fred Allen Wall.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
42618100 ( OCLC )
ocm42618100
Classification:
LD1190.E3 1999d .W35 ( lcc )

Full Text
INTEREST-BASED BARGAINING: AN ALTERNATIVE TO
POSITION-BASED BARGAINING FOR
PUBLIC SCHOOL EMPLOYEE WAGE AND BENEFIT NEGOTIATIONS
by
Fred Allen Wall
B.S., Mankato State University, 1969
MA, University of Minnesota, 1972
Ed.S., University of Minnesota, 1984
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
Educational Leadership and Innovation
1999


1999 by Fred Allen Wall
All rights reserved


This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy
degree by
Fred Allen Wail
has been approved
ApjJtf /999
Michael Martin


i
Wall, Fred Allen (Ph.D., Educational Leadership and Innovation)
Interest-Based Bargaining: An Alternative to Position-Based Bargaining
for Public School Employee Wage and Benefit Negotiations
Thesis directed by Professor Michael J. Murphy
ABSTRACT
The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of interest-based
bargaining to conduct contract negotiations in three school districts in
Colorado in order to determine the process techniques that are commonly
employed. Two additional goals of the study are first, to determine the
problem-solving strategies used in an interest-based bargaining model
and second, to determine if the use of interest-based bargaining to
negotiate contracts in a district has additional benefits in other areas of
collaboration within the district Fisher, Ury, and Patton (1991) describe
an alternative to traditional negotiations that focuses on building
constructive relationships through bargaining. The concept of interest-
based bargaining is based on the following principles: bargaining is
focused on issues, not personalities; bargaining is focused on interests,
not positions; and it is possible to create options that satisfy both parties.
J
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This descriptive study is based on 22 direct interviews with staff
members, administrators, and board of education members who have
been involved in interest-based bargaining as an alternative technique tor
determining wage, benefit and working conditions contracts for certified
school district employees.
In addition to the three goals of the study, the following common
themes emerged from the three case studies:
1. The most successful application of the interest-based model
occurred in districts that conducted an inclusive search for a
model that involved teachers, board of education members and
administrators.
2. All three districts engaged in training in interest-based
bargaining techniques and used the trainers to act in the role of
facilitator at least initially.
3. All districts in the case study spent time equalizing power by
blurring professional roles.
The significance of this study is to gain insight on specific interest-
based bargaining techniques used to develop process skills, such as, trust
building, risk taking, and relationship development among all participants
of the bargaining group.
v


This abstract accurately represents the contents of the candidates thesis. I
recommend its publication.


In Memoriam...
Frederick Wall, 1901 1992
My father, who always believed in me and
helped me learn how to work hard,
laugh at life and never give up.
He taught me to think, modeled creativity, and showed me
how to solve problems
when ordinary people would have
reacted ordinarily.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Throughout the ordeal of completing this project a number of people
sustained me when times were the darkest My wife, Sharon, who stood by
me as we made life long career decisions that moved us from Minnesota to
Canada, back to Minnesota, and then to Wisconsin and finally to Colorado.
In the process of finishing this degree she has encouraged me, provided
insight and read and re-read this dissertation.
Our son, Corey, and daughter, Sharra, now both adults, completed
their college educations while I was working on this project. Now they have
spouses of their own and live on opposite sides of this country. Yet they
never fail to ask me how I am coming on my studies.
A special thank you goes to Michael Murphy and the dissertation
committee of Rod Muth, Sharon Ford, Michael Martin and Dean Damon.
Michael had the insight to see the importance of this work, the ability to dig
into his extensive experience and knowledge of labor relations to solidify
this dissertation. Rod Muth pushed me to completion, set up experiences
for me to collaborate with others and believed in my ability. Sharon Ford
was the first person I met in the Department of Educational Administration
and helped me start on my degree when I first became a superintendent of
schools.


I have had the opportunity to work with boards of education in two
different communities and they too have lent their moral support and
provided time and financial resources in the completion of this degree. The
difficulty of completing this degree while performing the work of a school
superintendent was never lost on them.


CONTENTS
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION............................................1
Significance of the Study.............................3
Purpose of the Study and Related Research
Questions............................................5
Limitation of the Study.......................... ... 7
Organization of the Study.............................8
2. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE............................... 10
Funding of Public Education Issues of Adequacy
and the Publics Willingness to Pay..................10
Labor Relations, Teacher Bargaining, and Collective
Bargaining...........................................14
Decision-Making and Problem Solving..................24
Power and Influence..................................31
Alternative Forms of Bargaining......................40
Summary..............................................54
3. THE RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY.....................59
Problem Under Study..................................60
Research Questions...................................60
Populations and Sample...............................61
x


I
t
Instrumentation......................................65
Data Collection Methods..............................67
Data Analysis........................................68
Conclusion...........................................70
4. CASE STUDY ONE: PEAK SCHOOL DISTRICT....................71
Summary..............................................96
5. CASE STUDY TWO: MOUNTAIN SCHOOL DISTRICT................97
Summary.............................................124
6. CASE STUDY THREE: ALPINE SCHOOL DISTRICT...............127
Summary.............................................152
7. FINDINGS AND ANALYSES ACROSS CASES.....................154
Theoretical Framework...............................154
Case Study Backgrounds..............................157
District Decision to Implement Interest-
Based Bargaining...............................158
Selecting an Interest-Based Bargaining Model.159
Time Constraints of Interest-Based Bargaining..162
The Caucus.....................................163
Training and Facilitation of the Interest-Based
Bargaining Model...............................163
Comparison of Results of Bargaining to Other
Districts......................................165
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Research Questions...................................167
Research Question One: What are the Process
Techniques Used by School Districts that
Negotiate Wage and Benefit Packages Using an
Interest-Based Bargaining Model?................168
Research Question Two: What are the Problem-
Solving Techniques Used by School Districts
that Negotiate Wage and Benefit Packages
Using an Interest-Based Bargaining Model?.......173
Research Question Three: Does the Use of
Interest-Based Bargaining Have any additional
Benefits in Other Areas of Collaboration in
the District?...................................178
Conclusion.............................................180
8. CONCLUSIONS...............................................181
Data Collection........................................181
Setting of the Study...................................182
Selection of Interviewees..............................182
Characteristics of an Interest-Based Bargaining Model..184
Limitations of Interest-Based Bargaining Models........187
Recommendations........................................190
Some Observations...............................190
Transferability to Other School Districts.......194
Potential to Generalize Techniques to Other
Problems Within the School District.............200


Research Implications......................201
Summary...................................203
Epilogue..................................204
APPENDIX
A. INTERVIEW GUIDE............................ 206
B. CONSENT LETTER............................. 209
C. CONSENT FORM................................211
D. CODES.......................................213
E. ARTICLE 4 ISSUE RESOLUTION PROCEDURES.....215
F. C. B. T. HOTLINE............................217
G. ALPINE SCHOOL DISTRICT NEGOTIATIONS
PROCESS......................................219
REFERENCES.......................................... 227
XIII


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
In the light of increasing national disenchantment with public
education, there is a growing societal demand for improvement of schooling
in America (Chubb & Moe, 1990). One response to this concern by those
individuals involved with public education has been to find ways to work
collectively to solve issues of management, organization, instruction, and
curriculum. Members of boards of education, school administrators,
instructional staff, parents, and community members have begun to focus
on techniques of team building, cooperation, collaboration, and conflict
resolution to find solutions for the difficulties encountered in reforming
public education (Fernandez & Underwood, 1993).
This growing national disillusionment, as well as difficulties with the
funding mechanism for public education in most states, has exacerbated
issues of adequacy of financial resources and the equitable distribution of
resources among districts. The issue of available funds for school
employees is elevated on a regular basis as boards of education,
administrators, and stafF members face periodic contract negotiations
(Geisert & Lieberman, 1994). Often, the traditional method of contract
1


negotiations flies in the face of the collaborative efforts school districts are
employing to solve other conflicts and develop sound solutions to problems.
Some school districts have expanded their collaborative efforts to
include contract negotiations. Fisher, Ury, and Patton (1991) describe an
alternative to traditional negotiations that focuses on building constructive
relationships through bargaining. They outline a technique that focuses on
the interests of the two parties rather than accentuating positions. The
concept of interest-based bargaining is rooted in the following principles:
bargaining is focused on issues, not personalities; bargaining is focused on
interests, not positions; and it is possible to create options that satisfy both
parties. The following assumptions are inherent in interest-based
bargaining: bargaining enhances relationships, both parties can win, parties
should help each other win, and open discussion expands mutual interests
and options.
The application of interest-based bargaining in school district
contract negotiations implies that an issue, for either teachers or boards of
education, is presented without proposed solutions. The solution to each
issue is reached through a collaborative process in which all group
members work together to fact-find, develop alternative solutions, analyze
potential benefits and consequences of solution alternatives, and arrive at
agreement by consensus on each individual issue as well as on the final
2


package as a whole. The distinction between "sides is purposefully
downplayed and the concepts of team building, trust building, and
communication are consciously stressed (Crist, Higham, & Wall, 1994).
This descriptive study investigated the use of interest-based
bargaining in three school districts as an alternative negotiation technique
for determining wage, benefit and working condition contracts for certified
school district employees. The focus of this qualitative study is on specific
interest-based bargaining techniques used to develop process skills such
as trust building, risk taking, and relationship development among all
participants of the bargaining group. This study also reviewed specific
problem-solving behaviors that were employed to develop the final contract.
Significance of the Study
Recent history has seen an increased intensity of public scrutiny
focused on public education. Public school districts wrestle with higher
demands from internal sources as well from the local community to
increase standards, deliver high-quality instruction, provide evidence that
students are getting the education necessary, and to do so in a cost-
efficient manner (Herrington, 1993). This increased focus on school
districts often occurs in an environment where there is greater community
participation in the designing of future programs and delivery systems. As
3


school districts move to a more collaborative model of operation within the
institution as well as within the community at large, it seems appropriate
and necessary to investigate alternative negotiating strategies that are not
based on adversarial positioning. These alternative strategies most often
focus on the highly visible issue of contract negotiations and later expand to
other areas of conflict resolution in the institution (Herman & Megiveron,
1993; Jones, 1987). As more and more school districts begin searching for
ways of expanding their collaborative efforts in the area of contract
bargaining, it will be important to identify process techniques to build
relationships as well as the problem-solving strategies that are commonly
used (Albrecht & Albrecht, 1993; Cohen-Rosenthal & Burton, 1987; Fisher
et al, 1983; Goldaber, 1982). Also, it is important to determine whether the
use of these techniques and strategies can produce on-going positive
results within school districts.
A study that focuses on an alternative to traditional adversarial
bargaining has the following significance and is based on the succeeding
assumptions (Herman & Megivemo, 1993; Howe, 1988). First school
districts that operate inclusively to empower staff, parents, and community
members are likely to be more responsive to students' educational needs.
Examples of collaborative efforts include developing shared-decision
models at individual school building levels, inviting the public into the
4


decision-making processes at the building and district levels, and opening
up public education by the development of community created charter
schools in collaboration with local school districts. Second, collaborative
decision-making models result in longer fasting and more creative solutions
to problems. Third, as school districts move to develop shared/site decision
models of collaboration, traditional position bargaining used for contract
negotiations may be counter-productive to the overall direction of school
districts. Fourth, contract negotiations for wage and benefit packages can
be done in a cooperative manner. The final package might not be that
different from packages developed in a competitive model but the decisions
will be longer lasting, folded into the system easier, and created without the
animosity.
This study of interest-based bargaining has research significance as
school districts attempt to find new ways to work together in the future in the
roles of employees and employers.
Purpose of the Study and Related Research Questions
The purpose of this study is to investigate how school districts in the
State of Colorado use an interest-based model to conduct contract
bargaining. The study examined the process techniques that are commonly
employed in order to determine if there is a common set of identifiable skills
5


needed to facilitate successful use of this bargaining tool. Three additional
goals of the study are, first to determine the problem-solving strategies
used in an interest-based bargaining model; and, second, to determine the
perception of the use of interest-based bargaining models by certified staff
members, administrators, and board members. The third goal is to
determine if the use of interest-based bargaining to negotiate contracts in a
district has benefits in other areas of collaboration in the district The
theoretical frameworks from which the research questions are derived have
their foundations embedded in a variety of disciplines, including labor
relations, collective bargaining, conflict resolution, and integrative
bargaining (Barber, 1992; Booth, 1993; Walton etal., 1965,1994).
Elaboration of these concepts and theories will be developed through an
analysis of related research in Chapter 2. Research questions which will be
used to focus on the above issues are:
1. What are the process techniques used by school districts that
negotiate wage and benefit packages using an interest-based
bargaining model? Process techniques include, but are not
limited to, elements such as relationship building, trust building,
team building, and the establishment of norms of behavior.
2. What are the problem-solving techniques used by school districts


that negotiate wage and benefit packages using an interest-
based bargaining model? Problem-solving techniques include,
but are not limited to, the identification of problems, clustering of
problems, and the development of potential solutions.
3. Does the use of interest-based bargaining have any additional
benefits in other areas of collaboration in the district?
Members of both boards of education and teachers associations
agree that conflict created during regular negotiation sessions creates
tension that negatively affects other collaborative efforts occurring
elsewhere in districts (Liontos, 1987). Liontos (1987) points out that,
although position-based bargaining works in many instances, when it does
not the conffontive dialogue used during negotiations can damage, often
irreparably, the close relationships so vital to the educational process. In
conventional bargaining, the risk is high that posturing, hidden agendas,
and inflammatory language will be used to score points in a win/lose
outcome.
Limitations of the Study
This study will investigate interest-based bargaining in three school
districts of similar size ranging from 1,500 to 5,000 students. Six to eight
interviews will be conducted at each site. The current study is limited in its
7


ability to generalize to districts of different sizes. This study is also limited
due to the inclusions of school districts all within the State of Colorado.
Other states have various laws on certified contract negotiations and these
differing laws may affect interest-based bargaining strategies available to
negotiation teams.
Some positive benefits may occur by focusing this study solely on
Colorado school districts. First, Colorado is near the bottom in funding of
states in the country, and, therefore, money is scarce and negotiations are
potentially fraught with potential conflict (Augenblick, Myers, & Silverstein,
1998). Also, the size of districts under study are representative of the
average school district in this country when size of district is a
consideration.
Organization of the Study
This study has been organized into eight chapters. Chapter 1
includes a brief introduction of the literature on public funding of schools
and public perception of education, a statement of the problem to be
addressed through the research, related research questions, significance of
the study, and limitations of the study. Chapter 2 includes an examination
of the literature addressing issues of school funding, adequacy and equity,
history of labor relations, history of teacher contract negotiations and
8


collective bargaining, decision-making and problem-solving strategies,
issues of power and influence, and alternative forms of bargaining. Chapter
3 outlines the methods and procedures used in data collection. Chapters 4,
5, and 6 present individual case studies of each of the three districts and
focus on the use of, and reactions to, interest-based bargaining. Chapter 7
includes a discussion of similarities and differences among the three
districts in the use of interest-based bargaining. Finally, Chapter 8 presents
a discussion of the results and suggestions for future research.
9


CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
This chapter examines the broad issues of funding of public
education as they relate to issues of adequacy and equity and how public
trust is a factor in funding. This broad perspective is important to set the
stage for potential conflict between teachers' associations and boards of
education as they negotiate for salary and benefits in an environment of
shrinking resources. It is important to provide a historical context for labor
relations, the history of teacher bargaining, and collective bargaining in this
country. The discussion then focuses on constructs underlining bargaining
such as decision-making and problem-solving strategies, power and
influence, and, finally, alternatives to traditional position-based bargaining.
Some labels for these alternatives include Strategic Bargaining,
Progressive Bargaining, Win-Win Bargaining, Mutual Gains Bargaining, and
Principled Negotiations.
Funding of Public Education Issues of Adequacy
and Equity and the Public's Willingness to Pav
McClure in Herrington (1993) identifies tour trends which occur as
individual state governments wrestle with issues of funding and reform in
10


education. First ail states face fiscal problems when trying to fund all the
programs in their budgets. Second, many governors have appointed
commissions to study educational finance; however, taxpayers are
increasingly reluctant to invest in their recommendations for additional
resources. Third, states have not been able to develop funding formulas
that prevent a growing gap between wealthy and poor school districts.
Fourth, because voters are not satisfied with public schools, they are
increasingly willing to entertain the concept of vouchers or fees as
alternative funding mechanisms. Demands for a more highly educated
work force, coupled with the problems caused by growing poverty and the
breakdown of families and communities, have created acute stress in public
schools. All this is happening at a time when education funding is
decreasing rather than increasing in many states and communities (Yrchik,
1992).
The purpose of a project conducted on behalf of a coalition of
Colorado educational organizations including the Colorado Association of
School Boards, the Colorado Association of School Executives, the
Colorado Board of Cooperative Educational Services Association, and the
Colorado Education Association was to monitor what is happening in the
area of funding for education in the state. This project, sometimes called
11


the Augenblick Myers study has included the following findings in its latest
publication:
1. The revenues available to school districts in 1996-97 have not
kept pace with growth and inflation since 1988-89, which results
in a revenue gap of $526 per pupil (about $338 million in total)
for 1996-97.
2. Per pupil spending in 1996-97 was 9.7% lower than it
was in 1988-89 after considering the impact of inflation (the
Denver-Boulder Consumer Price Index rose by 34.4% during the
period).
3. The real dollar average salary of teachers in Colorado
continued to fall further behind its 1988-89 level. Teachers are
earning over $3000 less today than in 1988-89 when inflation is
taken into account
4. Colorados population continued to grow in 1996-97, both
statewide property valuation and personal income increased, and
property values rose at a higher rate than personal income for the
first time.
5. Support for education decreased as a proportion of income in
1996-97 if this proportion were the same in 1996-97 as it had
been in 1988-89, the states public schools could have obtained
$904 million more in revenue in 1996-97, an amount that is nearly
three times the amount needed to eliminate the revenue gap
(Augenblick et al., 1998, p.2).
The Augenblick-Myers paper presents data that supports the fact
that funding for education in Colorado has not kept pace with inflation,
adding to the tension between teachers and boards of education as both
groups look for a way to distribute limited resources.
12


The fundamental issue of school funding has far-reaching societal
implications (Kozol, 1991, p 220).
A new system was at last enacted in the spring of 1977. As soon as
Californians understood the implications of the plan namely, that
funding for most of their public schools would henceforth be
approximately equal a conservative revolt surged through the
state. The outcome of this surge, the first of many tax revolts across
the nation in the next ten years, was a referendum that applied a
"cap" on taxing and effectively restricted funding for all districts.
Proposition 13, as the tax cap would be known, may be interpreted in
several ways. One interpretation was described succinctly by a
California legislator 'This is the revenge of wealth against the poor.
'If the schools must actually be equal,' they are saying, 'then we will
undercut them all'.
At the state level, equity is viewed as a state-by-state issue defined
by each states preferences. Equity differences among the states are
dramatic. Districts in Alaska, with the highest per-pupil revenues at $8,201,
receive on average approximately three times more than school districts in
Mississippi ($2,618). The Federal Range Ratio is a scale that measures
the difference of districts from the 95th percentile. In six states, this ratio is
over 1.0, indicating expenditures at the 95th percentile; and in an additional
12 states, the spending is 75% or higher. In 15 states, however, the
revenue differential is less than 50%. Colorado is one of these states with a
ratio of 49.89% (Hertert, Busch, & Odden, 1994, p. 237).
Since the late 1960s, a majority of states have faced at least one
legal challenge to the constitutionality of their financing systems. These
13


attempts to change funding patterns continue with new lawsuits filed in 20
states in recent years. Investigations have found that substantial variations
remain in the distribution of public education revenues within states, even
after years of litigation and legislative action to change these systems
(Hertert et al., 1994, p. 237). Taken from a national perspective, the
differences in revenues are even greater than those found within most
states. Costs have been considered in terms of federal, state, and local
budgets. The results indicate that states devote proportionally very different
amounts of their available public funds to education, and that states have
varying capacities to absorb increases in public spending. The costs of
equalization are also substantially higher when district variations are
considered from a national perspective (Hertert et al., 1994).
Frustration about adequacy and equity issues concerning funding for
public schooling also translates into salary and benefit issues for certified
staff members. When districts have inadequate resources, teacher
bargaining is often fraught with conflict.
Labor Relations. Teacher Bargaining,
and Collective Bargaining
An overview of teacher bargaining needs to begin with a brief
historical summary of the labor movement in the United States. The labor
14


movement in the United States began to have its influences on the trades in
the late 1800s. The pivotal point of American labor unionism came when
the trades recognized the need to create a national federation. In 1886 the
American Federation of Labor (AFL) was established in Columbus, Ohio.
Samuel Gompers was elected as its first president (Craver, 1993). Samuel
Gompers describes the value of unions.
Throughout all these dreams and hopes and fears and attacks,
vituperation and misrepresentation, the trade unionists have plodded
along their weary way since the miner of Laurium, three thousand
years ago, laid down his pick; and, though phantasmagorias and
dreams have lived and died, the wage-earner, with pick and shovel,
with hammer and saw and plane, with hands on the lever of the
highest developed machines, kept, and keeps, organizing and
plodding along toward better conditions of life. (Bakke, Kerr, &
Anrod, 1960, p. 39)
The groundwork principle of Americas labor movement has been to
recognize that first things must come first.
The primary essential in our mission has been the protection of the
wage-worker; to increase his wages; to cut hours off the long
workday, which was killing him; to improve the safety and the
sanitary conditions of the work-shop; to free him from the tyrannies,
petty or otherwise, which served to make his existence a slavery.
(Bakke et al., 1960, p. 40)
The following are some basic characteristics of unions. First, the
union normally represents members in many companies throughout the
industry or occupation. Second, they develop an institutional life of their
own beyond the lives of individual members. Third, a union is an
15


employee-regulated device. It seeks to regulate the discretion of
employers, as one union leader said, at the very point where his action
affects the welfare of the men" (Bakke et al., 1960, p. 116).
In a review of union history Zieger (1986), states that in the past
organized labor had experienced several remarkable surges of growth. In
Jacksonian America, workingmens parties and unions had flourished.
Again, in the 1880s the Knights of Labor had reached hundreds of
thousands with its gospel of mass organization and workers power. And,
during World War I, union membership had mushroomed as labor moved
into previously unorganized industries and in 1919 made a bold bid to
capture the steel industry.
In the 1930s, a sympathetic government and union-supporting
legislation helped give the union movement a-new lease on life. The period
from Franklin D. Roosevelts inauguration in March 1933 through the
presidency of his successor, Harry S. Truman, ending in January 1953, was
one of massive, permanent growth of union membership;
The revival of the labor movement was as unexpected as it was
dramatic. Between 1932 and 1939, membership soared from under 3
million to almost 9 million. Workers everywhere surged into unions.
Whereas the AFLs strength normally lay in the construction, hand craft,
and entertainment trades, by the end of the 1930s powerful new
16


organizations in mass production industries embraced hundreds of
thousands of recruits (Craver, 1993).
In 1935, the United States Congress enacted the National Labor
Relations (Wagner) Act which established the principle of collective
bargaining as the national labor policy (Kerchner & Koppich, 1993). In April
1937, much to the surprise of American employers, the Supreme Court held
the Wagner Act constitutional, and employers awoke to the fact that they
were required by law to bargain in good faith with the representatives of
their employees (Craver, 1993).
Beginning in the late 1950s, the labor movement expanded rapidly in
membership and influence in the public sector. Aggressive organizing by
such unions as the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal
Employees (AFSCME), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and
other unions of firefighters, policemen, nurses, civil servants, and postal
employees capitalized on the proletarianization1 of public employment to
swell union membership among government workers from under 400,000 in
1955 to over 4 million by the early 1970s (Kerchner & Koppich, 1993).
Initially some organizations of public employees remained outside
the mainstream labor movement. But ultimately the National Education
Association (NEA), for years an administrator-dominated professional
organization, began to function as a bona fide labor union. Soon it claimed
17


over a million members in bargaining units and held contracts with
hundreds of school districts. The AFT, affiliated with the AFL since 1919,
grew less dramatically than the NEA, but by 1973 it counted a quarter-
million members, most of them concentrated in the nation's large cities.
Like the NEA, the AFT abandoned its no-strike traditions, and soon work
stoppages by teachers had become commonplace. The rise of militant
teacher unionism shocked those who continued to regard the nation's
classrooms as protected refuges from day-to-day reality.
The surge of public employment and of union activism coincided with
the racial and sexual revolutions of the 1960s, putting public employee
unions near the center of important social crises during this turbulent
decade. Changing job structures also added to the union appeal. Whereas
public employment had once enjoyed a certain elitist reputation for gentility
and security, by the 1960s it had become as much an arena of disputation
and conflict as the assembly line or loading dock. School teachers, who at
one time may have been content with trading adequate compensation for
the security and prestige of their profession, rebelled against low pay scales
at a time when their classrooms were becoming front-line battlefields in the
racial and social warfare of the sixties (Zieger, 1986).
Strikes among public employees, for years virtually unheard of,
punctuated the late 1960s. In 1966 alone, for example, teachers staged 33
18


walk outs, as compared with a total of 26 for the entire previous decade. By
the early 1970s scores of teachers strikes annually delayed school
openings (Zieger, 1986).
Historically, for most labor leaders and for the masses of ordinary
workers, Roosevelt remained the central ingredient in labors revival and
the countrys hopes. Yet the reforming thrust of the New Deal which had
reached a peak with the Wagner Act and the Social Security Act of 1935,
lost momentum in the later 1930s. Important legislative and political
mistakes by Roosevelt and his Democratic advisors strengthened the hand
of conservatives in Congress, even before the off-year 1938 elections
reduced liberal strength in both houses (Bakke eta!., 1960, p. 39).
One of the established principles of the American labor movement is
the concept of collective bargaining. A founding concept of unionism is the
belief that the collectivization of labor power a union can provide creates a
balance of economic power of labor and capital that might not otherwise
exist in a capitalistic society (Baderschneider, Block, & Fossum, 1983). The
components of the collective bargaining process are: bargaining
environment, parties/organization in the bargaining process, the bargaining
structure that has been defined, the outcomes of the collective bargaining
process, and the formation of policy or changes in policies as a result of
19


collective bargaining. Baderschneider et al., (p. 3) define the interaction of
these collective bargaining components in the following way.
The environment consists of the behavior of the labor force, current
laws and procedures governing employment; and the interaction of
employing organizations, individuals participating in the labor force,
and clients or customers of employers. The parties/organizations to
bargaining are the companies, public employees, unions, and
associations involved in collective bargaining. The bargaining
structure and bargaining power refer to the way in which bargaining
is organized between the parties and the ability of the parties to
influence each other toward preferred goals. The bargaining process
is the method used to mobilize bargaining power to achieve
preferred goals; the outcomes are the conditions of employment that
result from this process. Finally, the policy formation process is the
manner in which public opinion becomes implemented through
legislative and administrative changes.
The organization of teachers started with the National Education
Association (NEA) and was followed by the American Federation of
Teachers (AFT). These two organizations had two distinctly different
philosophies. In 1857 the NEA was started by educational leaders as a
national association for promoting the professionalization of teaching.
Teacher membership was not recognized until 1912. The NEA entered the
arena of collective bargaining in the late 1960s and began to identify itself
as a teachers' union for the first time (Murphy, 1990).
The AFT, on the other hand, was established along the lines of the
union model in 1916. Its primary focus was organizing teachers at the local
level. In the late 1800s local federations of teachers formed in Chicago,
20


New York, and other cities, in 1887, the Chicago Teachers' Federation
organized with three constitutional goals: to gain a raise, to protect teacher
pensions, and to "study parliamentary law." A national focus for the AFT
did not occur until the 1950s when it established ifs national headquarters
in Washington D.C. (Murphy, 1990).
Collective Bargaining has its function as the tool employed in
traditional bargaining. The First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S.
Constitution guarantees to all citizens the rights of association and
assembly. These rights provide a constitutional foundation for employees
to form organizations and seek recognition from employers. When teacher
unions began challenging school boards across the country in the 1960s
and 1970s, their goal was to establish labor-management relationships
patterned after the traditional industrial model that had evolved much earlier
in the American private sector. That model begins with the premise that
management has the money and power that labor wants. Driven by federal
law, the pnvate-sector model also presumes a protected right of employees
to organize and to press management for union recognition (Booth, 1993).
Some states have laws covering collective bargaining for all public
employees, some have laws applicable only to school employees, and still
others apply only to teachers. The passage of state bargaining statutes for
various categories of public employees, which was supported and
21


encouraged by the NEA and other public employee unions, was a critical
factor in the development and spread of collective bargaining in the public
sector. Between 1959, when Wisconsin passed the first state bargaining
statute, and 1970, 23 states passed statutes allowing public education
employees to bargain. Currently 34 states and the District of Columbia
have collective bargaining statutes that cover bargaining by public school
teachers. Because collective bargaining in the schools has generally
evolved in the pattern of the traditional industrial model, it tends to be an
adversarial process dependent upon a balance of power. The basic
purpose of traditional bargaining is to remove power and authority from one
party and transfer it to the other party. The vehicle is the contract, or
negotiated agreement. Compromise and concession form the style in
adversary bargaining, based on demands from union and counter proposals
from management (Booth, 1993, p. 30). The process works while lines of
communication are open. But rancor between management and
employees typically leads to bargaining through the news media and other
forms of open and public dispute. The union strives to get public support on
its side; the school board follows suit
It is important to note that organizational conflict is neither good nor
bad. Conflict is a normal characteristic of human interaction. Occasional
conflict is not, per se, a culpable fault of either party (Keanne, 1996). In the
22


1940s Mary Parker Follett stated, If we wish to speak of conflict in the
language of contemporary psychology, we might call it a moment of
interaction of desires. Thus we shall not be afraid of conflict, but shall
recognize that there is a destructive way of dealing with such moments and
there is a constructive way. Conflict as the moment of the appearing and
focusing of difference may be a sign of health, a prophecy of progress (Fox
& Urwick, 1982, p. 5). Skelekman (1947) draws a comparison of the
processes of conflict and cooperation. .. the capacity for conflict and
cooperation lies deep in the human endowment Both are evoked in
varying interrelated ways by the manifold group activities and relationships
into which the individual is drawn in a given society (p. 216). Cresswell,
Murphy, and Kerchner (1980) view conflict as competing functions within an
organization. In organizational settings, there are structures and
arrangements that create conflicts, such as competition for limited
resources, role exceptions, and differing views on values and ideologies
occur. While some conflict can be seen as good and can help move an
organization forward, there does come a point where extended conflict
becomes counterproductive in terms of organizational health (Whitehead,
1997).
23


Decision-Making and Problem-Solving
The art and science of decision-making is at the heart of any
negotiation process. Throughout the history of psychology, it is generally
agreed that the essential features of a problem are that an organism has a
goal but lacks a dear or well-defined route to the goal. The emphasis in
research on decision-making has been on response discovery, how the
organism arrives at effective, goal-attaining behavior (Dominowski &
Boume, 1994). The body of knowledge that encompasses the study of
decision-making draws its knowledge from the disciplines of social science
including anthropology, economics, political science, psychology, and
sociology. March (1994) outlines four issues that persistently occur when
studying decision-making. The first issue is whether decisions are to be
viewed as choice-based or rule-based. Do decision-makers pursue a logic
of consequence, making choices among alternatives by evaluating their
consequences in terms of prior preferences? Or, do they pursue a logic of
appropriateness, fulfilling identities or roles by recognizing situations and
following rules that match appropriate behavior to the situations they
encounter? The second issue is whether decision-making is typified more
by clarity and consistency or by ambiguity and inconsistency. Are decisions
occasions in which individuals and institutions achieve coherence? Or, are
24


they occasions in which inconsistency and ambiguity are exhibited,
exploited, and expanded? The third issue is whether decision-making is an
instrumental activity or an interpretive activity. Are decisions understood
primarily in terms of the way they fit into a problem-solving, adaptive
calculus? Or, are they understood primarily in terms of the way they fit into
efforts to establish individual and social meaning? The fourth issue is
whether outcomes of decision processes are seen as primarily attributable
to the actions of autonomous actors or to the systemic properties of ah
interacting ecology, is it possible to describe decisions as resulting from
the intentions, identities, and interests of independent actors? Or, is it
necessary to emphasize the ways in which individual actors, organizations,
and societies fit together?
Three of the major models for making decisions include the rational
model, political model, and legal model. Each of these models vary due to
the environment and context of the decisions to be made. Products of
traditional business schools are trained in the rational approach. 'This
approach is premised upon a value-free method of rational decision-
making, expressed by the illusory but popular phrase the 'bottom line'"
(Murray, 1986, p. 2). The "pure" rational model is based primarily upon
quantitative methods and mathematical skills that assume a non-
ideological, non-intuitive approach to decision-making. The political model
25


t
refers to decision-making based on setf-interest, careerism, personal
preference, or ideology. The argument is that an intricate system of
institutional checks and balances and governmental interplay ensures that
ultimately a political decision, which is by process definition the right
decision, will wash up" (Murray, 1986, p. 2). The legal model of decision-
making is based upon, and derived from, a set of fixed principles and
precedents. These governing principles and case precedents are
expressed in the forms of statutes, codes, and regulations (Murray, 1986).
These three models, as well as other models, do not operate in a pure
fashion independent of each other. A blending of elements for these
models is what occurs in day-to-day decision-making.
The most common portrayal of decision-making is one that interprets
action as rational choice. People do not make decisions in isolation; they
make decisions about something or someone within a historical, political,
social, legal, physical environmental and economic context, and with some
aim in mind (Wright 1985). Rational theories of attention, information, and
information structures have become some of the more important domains of
modem economics and decision theory (March, 1994).
Rational theories of choice assume decision processes that are
consequential and preference-based. They are consequential in the sense
that action depends on anticipation of the future effects of current actions.
26


Alternatives are interpreted in terms of their expected consequences. They
are preference-based in the sense that consequences are evaluated in
terms of personal preferences (March, 1994).
March (1994, p.2) defines rational decision-making as a procedure in
which one pursues a logic of consequence. Rational decision-making
makes a choice conditional on the answers to four basic questions. First is
the question of alternatives: What actions are possible? Second is the
question of expectations: What future consequences might follow from
each alternative? How likely is each possible consequence, assuming that
alternative is chosen? Third is the question of preference. How valuable
(to the decision-maker) are the consequences associated with each of the
alternatives? Fourth is the question of the decision rule: How is a choice to
be made among the alternatives in terms of the values of their
consequences?
The context for making decisions is the combination of an
individuals past experiences and future expectations. For the most part,
the world is interpreted and understood today in the way it was interpreted
and understood yesterday. Decision-makers look for information, but they
see what they expect to see and overlook unexpected things. Their
memories are less recollections of history than constructions based on what
they thought might happen and reconstruction based on what they now
i
27


think must have happened, given their present beliefs. Four fundamental
simplification processes are used by decision-makers to simplify the
process, (a) Editing: decisions makers tend to edit and simplify problems
before entering into a choice process, using a relatively small number of
cues and combining them in a simple manner, (b) Decomposition:
decision-makers attempt to decompose problems, to reduce large problems
into their component parts. The presumption is that problem elements can
be defined in such a way that solving the various components of a problem
individually will result in an acceptable solution to the global problem, (c)
Heuristics: decision-makers recognize patterns in the situations they face
and apply rules of appropriate behavior to those situations. Heuristics are
rules-of-thumb for calculating certain kinds of numbers or solving certain
kinds of problems, (d) Framing: decisions are framed by beliefs that define
the problem to be addressed, the information that must be collected and the
dimensions that must be evaluated. Decision-makers adopt paradigms to
tell themselves what perspective to take on a problem, what questions
should be asked, and what technologies should be used to ask the
questions (March,1994, p. 11-12).
An important factor in the process of decision-making is the concept
of risk. Risk in the context of decision-making is defined as the residual
variance in the theory of rational choice (March, 1994, p. 35). Hale (1996)
28


details risk from two different perspectives. One source of risk is criteria
that may have been overlooked that later appears to be critical. Another
source is that of new information that unfolds as the alternatives are
explored. The factors that affect risk taking in individuals and organizations
can be divided into three sets, (a) Risk estimation: decision-makers form
estimates for the risk involved in a decision. Those estimates affect the risk
actually taken, (b) Risk-taking propensity: different decision-makers seem
to have different propensities to take risk, (c) Structural factors: both risk
estimation and risk-taking propensity are affected by the context in which
they occur (March, 1994, p. 35).
The level of risk taking observed in organizations is affected not only
by the estimation of the risk but also by the propensity of a risk taker to
seek or avoid a particular level of expected risk. Consider four different
views of risk-taking propensity: (a) Risk-taking propensity as a personality
trait (b) Risk-taking propensity as a reaction to targets, (c) Risk-taking
propensity as a reasoned choice, and (d) Risk-taking propensity as an
artifact of reliability.
Risk-taking propensity as trait If people are risk-averse, it is argued,
risk taking must be rewarded. Thus, it is expected that risky gambles will
be accepted only if they have higher expected returns than those without
29


risk or, more generally, there should be a positive relation between the
amount of risk in an investment and the return provided.
Risk-taking propensity as target-oriented. Individual risk-taking
propensity is not seen as a stable trait of an individual but as varying with
the situation.
Risk-taking propensity as choice. Taking risks is treated not as a
function of personality or of aspirations, but as a reasoned choice.
Risk-taking propensity as an artifact of reliability. Increases in
knowledge have two principal effects on a performance distribution. On the
one hand, an increase in knowledge increases the mean performance that
can be expected in a decision situation. At the same time, knowledge also
increases the reliability of the outcome (that is, decreases the risk in the
situation). Thus, as decision-makers become more knowledgeable, they
improve their average performance and reduce their risk taking. In general,
reliability increases with education and experience, decreases with
organizational size. Organizational slack tends to increase in good times
and to reduce reliability; it tends to decrease in poor times and to increase
reliability. Diversity in organizational tasks or organizational composition
tends to reduce reliability. All of these changes affect the actual level or risk
exhibited by decision makers (March, 1994. p. 40).
30


Power and Influence
Decision-making in organizations, as well as decisions between
individuals, includes the elements of power or influence. Therefore, it is
important to understand the concept of power in the context of decision-
making. Tauber (1985, p. 1) states 'We all know perfectly well what it
[power] is, until someone asks us. Yet power is fundamental to an
understanding of people, their motives, their goals, and their actions..."
McCroskey and Richmond (1983, p. 17), see .. power as the capacity to
influence another person to do something he/she would not have done had
he/she not been influenced. Murray (1986, p. 240) describes power as a
relational concept (as opposed to a physical property to be possessed) that
describes one person's ability to influence the behavior of another or others.
Raven credits the earlier work of Kurt Lewin in the area of power. Lewin
defined power as The possibility of inducing forces of a certain magnitude
on another person. Such power could extend over a broad span of that
other persons potential activities, what Lewin would call the power field"
(1992, p. 3).
King (1985) defines power as the capacity of one actor to do
something affecting another actor that changes the probable pattern of
specified future events. Dahl (1961) describes his intuitive idea of power
as the successful attempt by A to get B to do something he or she would
31


not otherwise do. The emphasis in this approach is seeing who wins or
loses in actual decision-making by studying concrete, observable behavior.
A further central assumption, however, is that decision-making involves
actual and observable conflict Conflict over freely made and articulated
preferences by individuals, which is accessible to the observer, provides the
empirical test of power in the decisional approach (King, 1985). This raises
the concept of interests employed in the analysis. Interests are defined as
articulated policy preferences.
An important early study of American community power was done by
Hunter in 1953. He studied the power structure in Atlanta, Georgia. Hunter
argued that power could be understood as the property of particular
individuals and that this could be measured by the use of a "reputational"
methodology. This involved the observer asking a number of expert
judges or inside dopesters in the city (e.g., newspaper editors, leading
businessmen, and politicians) to nominate a small number of community
influentials from lists drawn up by local organizations. Interviews were
then carried out to discover the extent of personal interaction among
influentials and also which individuals were the chief members in any elites
or cliques that were unearthed. The problem with this technique was that it
tended to look for those individuals with the reputation for possessing power
rather than for those who actually exercised it It is possible for individuals
32


to be falsely attributed with having power. An adequate conception of
power should distinguish between dispositional (reputational or potential for
power) and episodic (exercise of power) usage.
In recent years, the previously well established behavioral or
individualistic orthodoxy in conceptualizing power has been challenged.
For King (1985), the study of power seemed a relatively unproblematic
exercise and was largely based on the work of one of the founding fathers
of classical sociology, Max Weber. The central assumption was that power
is a characteristic of conflictual, observable relationships between two or
more individuals. The advantage of such an apparently commonsensical
and simple approach was that it was perfectly congruent with the
established methodological canons of social science. Power is assessed
by requiring observation, empirical testability, and data on individual action.
Moreover, although some theorists, such as Taicott Parsons, doubted the
emphasis on conflict as the revelatory mechanism by which power relations
were exhibited and argued that power was a collective resource usable on
everyone's behalf, few theorists challenged the notion that the exercise of
power usually involved a conflict of wills and preferences between
knowledgeable individuals. Individuals were aware of their interests which
were reflected in preferences articulated more or less strongly, depending
on how intensely a person felt about a matter. The absence of preference
33


articulation, that is, inaction, indicated satisfaction that interests were either
being advanced or not endangered, whereas power was a reflection of
success in the relatively public class of policy preferences (p. 160).
A more radical approach to power has challenged a number of
these assumptions. It rests largely on the claim that the positivistic,
behavioral, and conflicting conceptions of power ignored the role of
ideology in human affairs. Ideas, beliefs, and values are not necessarily the
fully voluntary or reflexive constructs of autonomous individuals but can be
used as symbolic or cultural resources in securing or maintaining
dominance by one group over another. The result of such an exercise of
power is not necessarily conflict but its absence not action but inaction.
Perhaps most contentious of all, the successful imposition by the powerful
of their definition of the situation over the powerless leads to the view that,
in some circumstances at least, individuals may not be aware of what is in
their best interests and, therefore, may not be the best judge of them (King,
1985, p. 190).
It is critical not to assume that inaction indicates satisfaction or
agreement with existing arrangements. Inaction may reveal an inability to
advance a set of interests that over a period of time may induce a fatalism
or resignation about even trying. On the other hand, inactivity may not be a
reflection of weakness or suppression, but the reverse. The very powerful
34


may rarely need to act to advance or maintain their interests because they
are already taken into account by decision makers. The supreme exercise
of power may be the capacity not to have to act at all (King, 1985, p. 194).
Radical approaches tend to rest on the claim that rather than actual
conflict being necessary to demonstrate power, the very absence of conflict
may reveal the most thorough use of power in which potential grievances
are prevented through the shaping of individual perceptions and wants.
Social and political arrangements can be legitimated and accepted by the
powerless despite a contradiction between the interests of the powerful,
which are advanced or maintained by such arrangements, and the real
interests of the powerless, which are not. The necessary methodological
corollary is that the observer is able to distinguish between the subjective
interests of the participants and their real or objective interests as these are
theorized by the observer (King, 1985, p. 197).
As Lewin and his colleagues (1948) extended their interest to group
dynamics, they paid increasing attention to the power of the group over the
individual. Often, it seemed, influencing agents, attempting to change the
behavior of persons, would find that their influence attempts were countered
by group norms in an opposing direction. It thus appeared that in such
circumstances it would be more effective to influence the behavior of the
members of a group collectively, rather than individually. This would be
35


accomplished by presenting the reasons for change to the group
collectively, encouraging the members to discuss the need for change and
then to arrive at a group decision to change.
French and Coch found clear support for this approach to
overcoming resistance to change by workers at the Harwood Manufacturing
Corporation (Raven, 1992). The resistance to change came, they said,
from a tendency to adhere to group standards which were opposed to the
requests from management Thus, change in production rate was
accomplished more effectively through participation and decision by the
workers involved, with concomitant changes in group standards, and much
less effectively through the more common method of management simply
giving the workers full explanations and reasons for the requested changes
in their work behavior. The no-participation procedure had the effect for
the members of setting up management as a hostile power field (Raven,
1992, p. 3). Mutual participation with management in decision-making
would operate like influence from a friend, such that the induced force
would act more like an owned force.
French and Raven (1959) identified six types of social power that
may be utilized as sources of influence. Hersey, Blanchard, and
Natemeyer (1979) integrate the concept of power in their situational
leadership theory. They suggest that administrators may rely on some
36


combination of seven power bases when exercising influence: (a) reward
power, based on the ability to reward; (b) coercive power, based on the
ability to punish; (c) legitimate power, based on followers feelings of
oneness with the leader (d) referent power, based on the identification on
the leader as a role model; (e) expert power, based on the perception that
an administrator possesses unique insight or expertise; (f) information
power, based on the access to information not generally available to
followers; and (g) connection power, based upon the administrators ties
with powerful others. This last power base was an addition to French and
Ravens original bases of influence (Richardson, 1989). Raven, in his 1992
summary of the work done with French on the six bases of power states,
Though we still believe that most social influence can be understood
in terms of the six bases of power, some of these bases have been
elaborated and further differentiated.
Coercive Power and Reward Power. Going beyond tangible
rewards and real physical threats, we have had to recognize that
personal approval from someone whom we like can result in quite
powerful reward power and rejection or disapproval from someone
whom we really like can serve as a basis for powerful coercive
power.
Legitimate Power. We have had to go beyond the legitimate
power which comes from ones formal position and recognize other
forms of legitimate power which may be more subtle, which draw on
social norms such as (a) the legitimate power of reciprocity (I did
that for you, so you should feel obliged to do this for me), (b) Equity
(I have worked hard and suffered, so I have a right to ask you do
something to make up for it), (c) Responsibility or dependence, a
norm which says that we have some obligation to help others who
cannot help themselves, others who are dependent upon us. This
37


form of legitimate power has sometimes been referred to as the
power of the powerless.
Expert Power and Referent Power. Both of these bases of
power were originally examined only in their positive forms. A
subordinate may do what his/her supervisor asks because he/she
feels that the supervisor knows best Or because the supervisor is
someone admirable and desirable, the subordinate may aspire to be
a supervisor some day. But it had been observed that sometimes
we may do exactly the opposite of what the influencing agent does or
desires that we do.
informational Power, informational power, or persuasion, is
based on the information, or logical argument, that the influencing
agent could present to the target in order to implement change.
However, information can sometimes be more effective if it is
presented indirectly. The early research on the effectiveness of
overheard communications, as compared to direct communications
would seem to bear this out. (p. 41-42)
The relationship between decision-making, power and bargaining
needs to be explored further. Tauber (1985) asks the following questions.
To what degree do educators perceive their power as having changed over
the past decade? If such a change can be measured, can it be related to
the emergence of collective bargaining, industrial action, student rights,
fewer perceived job opportunities upon graduation, falling roles, shared
decision-making, bans on corporal punishment and other recent legal
developments, general aging of teachers, less new blood entering the
profession, fewer resources, and government required parent governors?
Can these perceptions be altered? Edelman and Crain (1994) outline their
concept of a power continuum.
38


At one end of the Power Continuum is what I cal! a pure dictatorship.
At the other end is genuine consensus. In a pure dictatorship, one
person or one group has, either individually or collectively, absolute
power in the realm of which they are in charge to say, do and
accomplish what they want The opinions and input of anyone else
are unnecessary in the decision-making process. One step down
from pure dictatorship is what I refer to as a sugarcoated
dictatorship. This is simply a dictatorship in disguise. There may be
a puppet-like legislature or a puppet council of advisors. After the
sugarcoated dictatorship comes enlightened despotism. In this type
of decision-making environment, the dictator is assumed, like Goid, to
be benevolent in his/her authority. Next we have the advisory
commission dictatorship. This differs from the sugarcoated
dictatorship in that it is not a case of window dressing. There is
actually some built-in mechanism that provides for a group of people
other than the top authority figure to have some public input into the
decision-making process. Arbitrated decision-making. This can be
summarized as the rule of law, where the decision-making is
based on some supposedly objective standard which in turn is being
interpreted by one person, either a judge or an arbitrator. The next
level of decision-making involves consensus input This is where
there is no final decision until everyone involved in that decision has
had the opportunity to provide input Following consensus input, we
have consensus understanding. In a situation of consensus
understanding, the group will not announce a final decision until
everyone understands what the decision is. The next level of
consensus acceptance, where no final decision or action is taken by
the group until everyone is accepting of the outcome. Again, this
does not necessarily mean that everyone agrees with the decision.
Rather, it means that everyone is able to at least say, Well, I do not
agree with this but I accept it With this we come to the final
extreme of the Power Continuum, which is genuine consensus. This
is a situation in which the final decision or action is taken only when
everyone agrees with the outcome, (p. 112-115)
In summary, the use of power seems to be fundamental to all
individuals and every organization. Also, as organizations become more
complex, there is a need to increasingly use power to influence people.
39


Leaders may exert power in a positive democratic format including
individuals in the decision-making process or they may use power in a
negative, authoritarian style.
In positional bargaining, power is seen as unequally available to one
side or the other. Each side in positional bargaining attempts to prevail in
their position by obtaining more power than the other side. In interest-
based bargaining power, is seen as equally available to both sides. The
team in interest-based bargaining does not use power to force their position
but rather uses strategies to find mutually satisfying solutions to issues.
Alternative Forms of Bargaining
The traditional model of teacher negotiations is collective bargaining,
also known as, position-based bargaining. It is based on the behavioral
characteristics of distributive bargaining. Position-based bargaining is
based on the premise that there are two identifiable adversarial sides -
teachers and boards of education. Negotiations begin when the two sides
exchange wage and benefit packages. The package that each side
presents at the beginning of the negotiation process is unrealistic. The
teachers package asks for more than the certified staff expect to get and
the board of education's package offers less than the board is willing to
give. The public is aware of the bantering back and forth through the local
40


press. At best the perception of position bargaining is viewed as neutral by
the community constituent. The public often views position bargaining as
further confirmation of an eroding confidence in an institution that is costly
to each individual taxpayer with limited payofF in terms of productive
educational results (Crist et al. 1994).
The collective bargaining process, with its inherent adversarial
character, may not be the most effective means of fostering collegial,
productive communication between and among teachers, school
administrators, and school boards regarding educational and operational
issues. Teachers and school administrators, we believe, hold the key to
achieving the goals of both instructional excellence and equity in the
nations public schools. Indispensable to the attainment of these twin goals
is open communication which characterizes the cooperative and
harmonious spirit that pervades every successful professional relationship"
(Howe, 1988). Those in the political and public arena of education find that
labor relations strife often conflicts with other goals, e.g. reelection, tax
referenda, job security, and educational improvement. As a result,
educators have long sought ways to avoid the political pressures of
impasse and conflict that come with collective bargaining (Booth, 1993).
Walton and McKersie (1965) studied bargaining from a behavioral
perspective, and as a result viewed labor negotiations from two distinctively
41


different perspectives. The first position is defined as distributive
bargaining, in which negotiations are approached as competitive behaviors
that are intended to influence the division of limited resources. "In its
extreme, or pure, form an issue would require that whatever gains are
available to one necessarily entails a corresponding and equal sacrifice by
the other" (p. 127). Distributive bargaining serves to allocate fixed sums of
resources ("dividing the pie") and hence often has a "win-lose" quality.
The second behavioral category of labor negotiations as outlined by
Walton and McKersie (1965) is integrative bargaining. Rather than viewing
a problem from a fixed-sum perspective, integrative bargaining takes the
position that there are behaviors in negotiations that increase the joint gain
available to the negotiation parties. These problem-solving behaviors
identify, enlarge, and act upon common interests of the parties (p. vii).
This idea of joint gain was described by Schelling (1966) as an
interdependent relationship between opponents in a bargaining situation.
This interdependence is demonstrated when the best strategy of one player
is dependent on what the opponent does. Walton, Cutcher-Gershenfeld,
and McKersie (1994) in a later refinement of their description of integrative
bargaining go on to state that integrative bargaining "has the function of
finding common or complementary interests and solving problems
confronting both partners. It serves to optimize the potential for joint gains
42


(expanding the pie) and hence often has a win-win quality (p. 45).
Walton etal. (1994) define integrative tactics that include: the exchange of
accurate information; the exploration of underlying interests; the use of
structured problem-solving techniques; and the development of
interpersonal communication.
The concept of integration was described in early work done by
Follett (1924) when she uses the term integration to describe the creation
of new responses out of actions.
The biological law is growth by the continuous integration of simple
responses; in the same way do we build up or characters by uniting
diverse tendencies into new action patterns; social progress follows
exactly the same law. To understand this we need not go to the
larger conflicts of industry or nations. Take a disagreement with
someone: if we find that it was caused by a mere misunderstanding,
there is little development there, but if we find that there was real
difference and that we can unite what was of value in each point of
view, it is a step in our growth, (p. 174)
Later Follet (1942) describes three ways of dealing with conflict as
domination, compromise, and integration.
There are three ways of dealing with conflict: domination,
compromise, and integration. Domination, the easiest way of dealing
with conflict; the easiest for the moment but not usually successful in
the long run.
The second way of dealing with conflict that of compromise, we
understand well, for it is the way we settle most of our controversies;
each side gives up a little in order to have peace, or to speak more
accurately, in order that the activity which has been interrupted by
the conflict may go on. Compromise is the basis of trade union
tactics. In collective bargaining, the trade unionist asks for more
43


than he expects to get allows for what is going to be lopped off in
the conference. Thus we do not know what he really thinks he should
have and this ignorance is a great barrier in dealing with conflict
fruitfully.
No one really wants to compromise, because that means a giving up
on something. Is there then any other method of ending conflict?
There is a way beginning now to be recognized at least and even
occasionally followed: when two desires are integrated, it means that
a solution has been found in which both desires have found a place,
that neither side has to sacrifice anything. (Fox & Urwick, 1982, p. 2-
3)
Jones (1987) defines integrative negotiations as a joint problem-
solving process which requires participants to employ rational inquire and
peaceful persuasion; to possess sensitivity to the individual's needs,
interests, and abilities; to have an understanding of group dynamics; and to
possess group problem-solving and decision-making skills. Three steps are
used in the integrative negotiation process. The first step is the maximum
exchange of information about the problems each party identified. The next
step is the generation of the maximum number and range of alternative
solutions and the final step is the assessment of the various alternatives.
The latest work of Walton et al. (1994) adds to the refinement of the
dichotomy of distributive bargaining and integrative bargaining. The more
inclusive working terms have been expanded to include forcing and
fostering strategies. Forcing strategies are used when there is an
alignment of these three negotiating processes: distributive bargaining,
44


structuring attitudes to emphasize hostility toward the other side, and
managing internal differences to promote solidarity on one's own side while
exploiting divisions on the other side (Walton et al., p. xiv). The core
advantage of a forcing strategy is the promise of quick results while the
core disadvantages include the failure to identify the integrative potential in
a situation and the possible lack of commitment in implementation by one or
all parties in the final product
Fostering strategies view an alignment of the three different
negotiating processes: integrative bargaining, structuring attitudes to
emphasize trust by everyone in the bargaining process, and managing for
consensus in both parties (p. xiv). The core advantage of a fostering
strategy is the commitment for the final product by all parties in the
negotiation process and the core disadvantage is the long amount of time
typically required to produce results.
The behavioral characteristics of integrative bargaining are seen in
an interest-based bargaining model. As school districts move to more
collaborative models of operation within the institution as well as with the
community at large, it seems appropriate to investigate conflict resolution
strategies that are not based on adversarial positioning. If the district and
the association are always at loggerheads, public perceptions about the
45


education system will reflect the disagreement and tension between labor
and management (Yrchik, 1991).
It must be carefully noted that as bargaining is investigated it seems
to fall into two distinct camps, but in all reality the discussion is more on the
line of a continuum than an "either-or" perspective. Yrchik (1991) in an
analysis of collective and collaborative bargaining, states the following:
Is bargaining like a war or like an exercise in diplomacy? If it is like a
war, you gird loins, organize your troops, and go out to take as much
territory as you can for your side. If it is like an exercise in
diplomacy, you explore what your needs and those of the other party
are, you search for equitable ways to meet those needs, and you use
your dealings to create a healthy climate for further negotiations.
The right answer (if the history of nations helps us in this regard) is
that bargaining is sometimes a war and sometimes an exercise in
diplomacy, (p.7)
The dichotomy of distributive and integrative bargaining leads to
further analysis of bargaining techniques under each of these two broad
categories. It is also necessary to begin to define terms to gain a better
understanding about the complexities of bargaining as a process. The first
term is negotiations. Edelman and Crain (1994, p. xii) state Typically,
negotiation is thought of as the process of discussion engaged in by two or
more parties, each of which wants to achieve a desired aim. Negotiation
can be a selfish experience in which each party is concerned only with their
own needs. Or, it can be a mutually beneficial experience, in which
everyone's needs are taken into equal consideration by each participant.
46


In any bargaining environment the issue of trust and respect
becomes a critical element in the process. Yrchik (1991) draws the
distinction between these concepts. "Respect implies that a relationship
has the potential for trust to develop. It also implies that, while you
acknowledge the integrity of the other party, you do have different interests.
This means that the other party will not always accede to and may even
oppose your proposals (p. 10).
Within the context of bargaining, communication is a critical tool. For
the purposes of this study, communication is composed often dimensions.
"Conscious communication involves ten basic elements: (a) commitment;
(b) self-observation; (c) honesty; (d) going beneath the surface; (e)
separating intention from conduct' (f) separating facts from feelings; (g)
using I messages; (h) listening; (i) having the willingness to admit that you
do not know everything; and O') having the willingness to admit your
mistakes (Edelman and Crain, 1994, p. 67).
Fisher and Brown (1988) spend some time defining the importance
of establishing relationships in the bargaining process. There are six basic
elements instrumental to building relationships:
1. Rationality. Even if they are acting emotionally, balance
emotions with reason.
47


2. Understanding. Even if they misunderstand us, try to understand
them.
3. Communication. Even if they are not listening, consult them
before deciding on matters that affect them.
4. Reliability. Even if they are trying to deceive us, neither trust
them nor deceive them; be reliable.
5. Noncoercive modes of influence. Even if they are trying to
coerce us, neither yield to that coercion nor try to coerce them; be
open to persuasion and try to persuade them.
6. Acceptance. Even if they reject us and our concerns as unworthy
of their consideration, accept them as worthy of our
consideration, care about them, and be open to learning from
them.
Conflict is defined as Ma situation in which two people cannot agree
on the actions that one person takes or that he or she does not want the
other to take" (Edelman & Crain, 1994, p. 18). "A unilateral conflict involves
a situation in which only one side has a complaint. In a bilateral conflict,
each person wants something from the other (p.19).
The various models of bargaining under the category of integrative
bargaining are typically entitled alternative, non-traditional, or collaborative
forms of bargaining. Some labels that have been used include: Strategic
48


Bargaining, Progressive Bargaining, Win-Win Bargaining, Mutual Gains
Bargaining and Principled Negotiations. Common to most of these models
are the following components: broader team membership; reduced reliance
on a single spokesperson; a restrictive time frame; a firmly established time
for closure; some form of non-confrontational interaction; emphasis on
problems and solutions rather than positions; apparently open and honest
communications; ongoing year-around problem-solving (Booth, 1993, p.
36).
A discussion of alternative or collaborative bargaining starts with a
discussion of Strategic Bargaining. Strategic Bargaining was developed by
Edward Cohen-Rosenthal and Cynthia Burton (1987) of ECR Associates,
Blltimore. This bargaining technique urges the two parties to develop a
projection of the future of their organization and the potential demands and
difficulties their organization is likely to face. Against the backdrop of these
forecasts the parties seek to reach agreement on what they would like the
organization to look like and to create an agreement that helps them get
there. What makes Strategic Bargaining such a potentially important
process is that it orients bargaining toward the future.
Strategic Bargaining is founded on two presuppositions. The first is
that labor and management have a long-term view and a relationship of
mutual respect. The second is that both parties recognize that each can
49


contribute to the others long-term success. Strategic Bargaining is based
upon the following seven principles.
1. Review both parties perceptions of past history and current
status of the organization.
2. Share each partys perceptions of the next 5-10 years in terms of
givens/known facts; future challenges/problems; opportunities.
3. Develop joint goals and objectives.
4. Establish joint study teams and/or submit proposals of meeting
goals.
5. Negotiate an agreement measured against common goals.
6. Develop a clear plan for communication, implementing, and
monitoring the agreement
7. Evaluate and renew joint goals and objectives.
John Yrchik (1991) in review of collaborative bargaining techniques
includes a discussion of Progressive Bargaining. The concept of
Progressive Bargaining is to permit full discussion of every issue that each
party wants to bring to the table. Its major aspects are: (a) an early start on
negotiations, (b) separation of economic and non-economic issues, (c)
referrals to subcommittees, (d) early mediation and, (e) fact-finding.
Progressive Bargaining has some similar characteristics of a more
traditional collective bargaining model.
50


Win-Win bargaining is an alternative bargaining process designed to
enhance communications and minimize confrontation. It requires joint
ownership and acceptance of a predetermined list of procedures. The term
Win/Win is frequently synonymous with the approach to collective
bargaining developed by the late Irving Goldaber (1982, p. 17). Goldabers
process has ten steps:
1. The presiding officers of both the district and the local association
receive protocols for Win/Win negotiations.
2. Acting separately, the union and management draw up problems
in the form of questions.
3. All participants and the facilitator (a neutral) participate in a
communications laboratory.
4. The parties identify issues to be included in the contract These
are grouped into four main areas: compensation and benefits,
rights and responsibilities, working conditions, and
miscellaneous. The issues are turned over to a contract matter
committee composed of equal numbers of management and
association representatives.
5. The committees meet over a three-week period to discuss the
issues with which they are concerned. Agreements are reached
and unresolved issues are delineated.
6. All parties and the facilitator participate in a weekend of Win/Win
Bargaining to resolve the more contentious issues, reach
agreement and appoint a contract writing committee.
7. The contract writing committee writes the contract
8. All parties and tire facilitator review and recommend the contract.
9. Both bodies vote.
51


10. All participants witness the signing.
Flickinger & Bender (1992) outline the specific characteristics of
Mutual Gains Bargaining (MGB). Mutual Gains Bargaining is a focused,
skill-based approach to bargaining that is designed to result in exchanges
reflecting greater concern for mutuality1 than with exclusive self-interest.
A major component of MGB is the attention on the development of skills of
communication. The following basic rules of negotiations are outlined in
Mutual Gains Bargaining. First, both teams need to keep in touch with their
constituents. In any bargaining context, not everyone accepts the concepts
of this alternative bargaining technique, and any hint of secretiveness can
be misconstrued. Second, because the results of the training process are
inherent in Mutual Gains Bargaining the two teams can become so
committed to the process that they may forget that the end result needs a
product that both sides will accept Teams sometimes develop an usH (the
team) against "them" (constituents) attitude, feeling the rest of the faculty
and administration just do not understand the MGB concept (Flickinger &
Bender, 1992, pg. 3). Finally, MGB is heavily information-based. Teams
can never have too much information, and that information must be
analyzed carefully (Flickinger & Bender, 1992). Flickinger & Bender (1992,
p. 3) define the essential concept of problem-solving:
52


Problem-solving is another key concept in Mutual Gains Bargaining.
Rather than coming to the table with demands, which are really
unilateral solutions to problems, Mutual Gains Bargaining focuses on
mutual problem-solving. The first step in the mutual problem-solving
process is recognizing the legitimacy of each side's needs and
priorities, then turning these issues into mutual issue or problem
statements. Information is then gathered jointly and used to
generate possible solutions. After a solution is selected and
implemented, the final stage is evaluation and possible revision. The
emphasis is on rational, objective problem-solving, rather than each
side taking a position and defending that position at all costs. Mutual
problem-solving is more likely to maximize the outcome for both
sides, especially when brainstorming is used as part of the process.
In Getting to Yes (1981, p. 11), Fischer and Ury espouse basic
principles, not a specific process. The concepts of Principled Negotiations
were developed as a part of the Harvard Negotiation Project The major
concepts of Principled Negotiations are: (a) People: Separate tine people
from the problem; (b) Interests: Focus on interests, not positions; (c)
Options: Generate a variety of possibilities before deciding what to do; and
(d) Criteria: Insist that the result be based on some objective standard.
The concept of Principled Negotiations is based on the premise that
in every negotiation there are two kinds of interests: in the substance and in
the relationship. The relationship tends to become entangled with the
problem. The following areas are stressed when dealing with relationship
issues in negotiations. Perceptions: putting yourself in their shoes;
emotions: recognize and understand emotions, theirs and yours; and
communication: listen actively and acknowledge what is being said. Also
53


important in Principled Negotiations is focusing on interests, not on
positions and insisting on developing objective criteria. The method permits
the participants to reach a gradual consensus on a joint decision efficiently
without the costs of developing positions that are difficult to reverse or
defend.
The development of interest-based bargaining has been an
evolutionary process growing out of earlier work by Follett (1924), Walton
and McKersie (1965), Schelling (1966), and finally to Fisher et al. (1991). In
the last decade school districts have altered the traditional adversarial
union-management relationship in order to become more collaborative
(Kerchner, Koppich, & Weeres, 1997). These districts have endeavored to
confront the more vexing and ultimately more important issues of what
kinds of educational decisions are being made, the operating level at which
they are struck, and the cumulative impact of these decisions on issues of
student achievement" (Kerchner et al., 1997, p. 109).
Summary
The relationship of the contents of the literature review to the
concept of interest-based bargaining is critical. Funding for public schools
in this country continues to be a controversial issue. It is seen that while
state governments realize that the funding of schools is inadequate, there is
54


little political willpower to increase funding for education (Augenblick et al.
1998). This political inertia is set in the context of a public unwillingness to
increase funding because of perceived poor public school academic
performance and frustration with state funding formulas that attempt to
equalize monies that go from wealthy districts to poor districts (Herrington,
1993).
The history of labor relations in the country from the late 1800s has
influenced public school negotiations. Organizations such as the National
Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers evolved
into labor union activists for teachers. Eventually teachers used their
numbers to apply power and pressure and even strike action to draw focus
on their financial plight (Murphy, 1990).
After setting the present context of limited financial resources and a
historical review of labor relations leading up to modem teacher union
activity, it is important to look at the elements of bargaining. When setting
up the difference between traditional position-based bargaining and a
newer alternative of interest-based bargaining, it is important to review the
literature on decision-making and problem-solving as well as the literature
on power and influence.
Murray (1982) discusses three major models for making decisions.
Each of the three models has significance in the study of interest-based
55


bargaining and how it is developed and applied in school districts. The
rational model is based on quantitative methods of decision-making. In any
school district it is necessary to view at least some of the decisions that
need to be made regarding wages and benefits on the basis of revenues
available and the expenditures that occur. The political model is also
applicable in school districts. All decisions made regarding salaries are
done in the context of the interests of the constituents that are affected.
There is always a perspective of the legal constraints from the state and
federal government, as well as local rules in the form of policies, that are
considered in the negotiations process. The three models of decision-
making discussed in this chapter are seen as important in interest-based
bargaining.
Power and influence in an interest-based bargaining model are
important yet applied differently than in a position-based bargaining model.
An important element of interest-based bargaining is equalizing the roles of
the individuals and groups. The process of equalizing roles in interest-
based bargaining neutralizes the concept of some of the individuals having
more influence than other members. A central theme in interest-based
bargaining is that everyone has equal power and influence. This equal
power is demonstrated by the voting process in consensus, where one
opposing vote brings the issue back to the entire group for discussion and
56


further exploration before a decision can be made. Only when all team
members vote in favor of a solution will the issue be completed. Power in
interest-based bargaining is mutually used. Instead of one side using
power to convince the other party to do something they would not usually
do, interest-based bargaining uses the entire team to focus on the best
solutions based on the information provided to the entire team.
The discussion of various theories of interest-based bargaining has
significance in the observation and discussion of the three case studies in
this dissertation. Cohn-Rosenthal and Burton (1987) emphasize that in
interest-based bargaining it is important that both sides in the negotiation
process have a long view of the vision that the members of the team are
trying to accomplish. Yrchik (1991) outlines specific steps that are close to
traditional negotiations. These steps are different only in that the sides are
blurred, and reaching the steps is accomplished cooperatively instead of in
an adversarial manner. In early work done by Goldaber (1982) the value of
developing communication skills is stressed as important in interest-based
bargaining. Flickinger and Bender (1992) focus on the importance of
training in the techniques and skills of the model. They also stress the
importance of the negotiators keeping in touch with the constituents and
warn about the dangers of internal bonding. The work of Fisher and Ury
57


(1981) outlines the principles of people, interests, options, and the idea of
criteria or standards.
The accumulation of these components of various theories of
alternative interest-based bargaining models will be seen as an important
part in the descriptive case studies of the three districts in this research.
i
i
58


CHAPTER 3
THE RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
Interest-based bargaining is essentially a joint problem solving-
process which requires participants to make decisions in a consensus
format develop collaborative problem-solving skills, and possess an
understanding of group dynamics.
Generating a wise process is quite different from assessing the
comparative merits of plans already on the table, or even generating
additional competing plans. This distinction between substance and
process is not just a question of semantics. There is a high cost in
failing to distinguish between (1) What do I think is the best goal?
and (2) How shall you and I best proceed when each of us has
different ideas about what ought to happen. (Fisher, 1994, p 16)
Consensus is defined as a state of mutual agreement among
members of a group where all legitimate concerns of individuals have been
addressed to the satisfaction of the group. In seeking mutual agreement,
the consensus process fosters individual differences, personal self-reliance
and self-esteem, creativity and innovation, improved interpersonal
communications and relationships, responsibility, and accountability (Saint
& Lawson, 1994, p. 3)
59


Problem Under Study
In times of limited fiscal resources, negative perception of public
education, and growing inequity of public school funding fora number of
school districts, it becomes imperative to find ways to make decisions in the
most constructive manner possible. As school districts work to broaden the
circle of involvement of community constituents into the educational
process, it is possible for those people working in school districts to model
methods which build trust sharpen conflict resolution skills, and focus on
collaboration.
Research Questions
The purpose of this descriptive study is to investigate school districts
in the State of Colorado that use an interest-based model to conduct
contract bargaining to examine the process techniques that are commonly
employed in order to determine if there is a common set of identifiable skills
needed to facilitate successful use of this bargaining tool. The theoretical
frameworks from which the research questions are derived have their
foundations embedded in a variety of disciplines, including labor relations,
collective bargaining, conflict resolution, and integrative bargaining.
60


1. What are the process techniques used by school districts that
negotiate wage and benefit packages using an interest-based
bargaining model? Process techniques include, but are not
limited to elements such as relationship building, trust building,
team building, and the establishment of norms of behavior.
2. What are the problem-solving techniques used by school districts
that negotiate wage and benefit packages using an interest-
based bargaining model? Problem solving techniques include,
but are not limited to, the identification of problems, clustering of
problems, and the development of potential solutions.
3. What benefits, if any, do certified staff members, administrators,
and board of education members perceive emanating from
interest-based bargaining in other areas of collaboration in the
district
Populations and Sample
This descriptive study is based on 22 direct interviews with staff
members, administrators, and board of education members who have been
involved in at least one negotiations cycle using an interest-based model in
61


their school district Three school districts with student populations
between 1,500 to 5,000 students were identified, and a minimum of six one-
on-one interviews have been conducted at each site. The six to eight
interviews at each site were divided among three to four members of the
administrative/board team as well as three to four members of the teacher
team. An interview guide (Appendix A) was used to structure each
interview. The interview process continued until the information became
repetitive. All three districts selected are similar in that interest-based
bargaining has been used to negotiate certified contracts for at least three
years.
Colorado has 176 school districts. Districts considered for selection
had to meet the following criteria. First it was important to identify which
school districts use an interest-based bargaining model as an alternative to
a traditional position-based bargaining model to negotiate wage and benefit
packages. The following sources were used to help identify these school
districts:
Colorado Department of Education field representatives who
have direct service connections with all districts in the state;
Directors of Boards of Cooperative Educational Services in each
area of the state having direct or indirect service connections with
all districts;
62


Directors of regional teachers associations affiliated with the
National Teachers Organization (NEA) in the state.
Also included were other professional educational organizations in
the State of Colorado such as:
Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE);
Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB).
The second criteria for selection was size. In order to control for size
as a variable it was decided to concentrate on intermediate school districts
with student populations between 1,500 and 5,000 students. After a list of
potential school districts was generated, phone calls were made by the
researcher to superintendents of each school district. The project was
introduced and preliminary questions were answered. A follow-up letter
describing the project was sent with an additional follow-up phone call to
the superintendent A sample of this letter is found in Appendix B. After it
was determined that there was continued interest, a similar procedure was
used with the president of the teachers association. The project was
discussed in a phone call followed by a letter describing the project and
followed-up by a phone call to clarify any issues. When it was determined
at this point that both the district and researcher were interested in
continuing the project, an invitation to participate was made to the district
63


This process was repeated until three districts were given invitations to
participate and all three accepted the invitation.
The selection of individual interviewees was done in two stages in
each district First a list of stafF members, administrators, and board of
education members who had been involved in at least one negotiations
cycle using an interest-based model was generated. The superintendent in
each district made his or her administrative assistant available to help
identify this list of individuals. The list was divided into two parts stafF
members and administrative/board of education members. Each name on
each of the two parts of the list was ranked in order from most experienced
to least experienced in the interest-based bargaining model. The
researcher contacted stafF members and administrators/board of education
members starting with the rank closest to one on each list. The
superintendent in each district contacted each individual to notify them that
this research study was endorsed by the district. The interviews were
conducted at the school building if approved by the district or at a mutually
agreed location convenient to the interviewees and interviewer. Each
interviewee was asked to sign a consent letter. A copy of that consent
letter was provided to the interviewee with the original kept in the
researchers possession. A copy of the consent letter can be found in
Appendix C.
64


Instrumentation
This descriptive study used qualitative research techniques. Strauss
and Corbin (19S0, p. 18) define qualitative research as any kind of research
that produces findings not arrived at by means of statistical procedures or
other means of quantification. They go on to add "Some researchers
gather data by means of interview and observation by techniques normally
associated with qualitative methods. However, they then code that data in
a manner that allows them to. be statistically analyzed. Miles and
Huberman (1984) indicate that qualitative research techniques are
becoming more widely used in a growing number of fields of professional
study.
Qualitative data, in the form of words rather than numbers, have
always been the staple of certain social sciences, notably
anthropology, history, and political science. In the past decade,
however, more and more researchers in fields with a traditional
quantitative emphasis (psychology, sociology, linguistics, public
administration, organizational studies, urban planning, educational
research, program evaluation, and policy analysis) have shifted to a
more qualitative paradigm, (p. 17)
Miles and Huberman (1984, p. 15) believe that qualitative data
collection has the advantage of enriching the reader. "Words, especially
when they are organized into incidents or stories, have a concrete, vivid,
65


meaningful flavor that often proves far more convincing to a reader or by
another researcher, a policy maker, a practitioner than pages of numbers.
The analysis of qualitative data is critical to a successful research
study using this technique. Miles and Huberman (1984) discuss the issue
of analysis as follows:
First the data concerned appears in words rather than in numbers.
They may have been collected in a variety of ways (observation,
interviews, extracts from documents, tape recordings), and are
usually 'processed' somewhat before they are ready for use, (via
dictation, typing up, editing, or transcription), but they remain words,
usually organized into extended text. We consider that analysis
consists of three concurrent flows of activity: data reduction, data
display, and conclusion drawing/verification. (p. 21)
The "accurate description" is one type of procedure used in
qualitative research. This study which is based on descriptive techniques
uses the following definition of description by Strauss and Corbin (1990, p.
22), "Because the investigator cannot possibly present all the data en toto
to the readers, it is necessary to reduce this data. The principle here is to
present an accurate description of what is being studied, though not
necessarily all of the data that has been studied. Reducing and ordering
materials, of course, represents selection and interpretation. The
researchers who advocate or primarily produce accurate descriptions also
typically intersperse their own interpretive comments in and around long
descriptive passages and quotations from interview field notes."
66


Data Collection Methods
One-on-one interviews were conducted using an interview guide.
The interview guide was developed and field tested with a number of
individuals who were not related to the study but were familiar with interest-
based bargaining. Comments and advice by field-test interviewees
assisted in shaping the final interview questions used in the interview guide.
Caution was used not to bias the interviewees towards making either '
positive or negative comments as a result of the researchers perceived
preferences. The researcher asked each of the field test subjects if they
had felt they were being directed to answer in any particular way. The
subjects indicated they did not feel led to any particular answer by the way
the researcher asked the question or reacted to responses given by the
interviewees. This guide is contained in Appendix A. Interviewees were
asked a series of structured questions. As a follow-up to the directed
questions, indirect questions and conversation were encouraged in order to
add richness to each interview.
Before the start of the interview the researcher assured all
interviewees that his or her confidentiality would be maintained. No
comment made that could be identified would be used in the final written
document The purpose of the interview was to identify categories of
67


comments and the codes were generalized so individuals or districts would
not be recognizable. A list of codes was generated from the field test
interviews. From this original list of codes, further codes were identified and
the list of codes was continually expanded as new themes were discovered.
The codes and their definitions can be found in Appendix D.
Data Analysis
Each interview and conversation was recorded on tape. The
contents of each tape were then transcribed. The PC program entitled,
Ethnooraph v5.0 was used to codify the data. Preliminary development and
experimentation yielded the subsequent coding categories:
trust building-grounding and trust building-establishment of group
norms
relationship-positive feelings and relationship-negative feelings
rotes-fecilitator, roles-added group members and roles-outside
participants
process issues-length of time and process issues-consensus
product issues-documentation and product issues-number of issues
results-final product, and results-creativity.
68


Miles and Huberman (1984) define coding in the following way:
A code is an abbreviation or symbol applied to a segment of words -
most often a sentence or paragraph of transcribed field notes in
order to classify the words. Codes are categories. They usually
derive from research questions, hypotheses, key concepts, or
important themes. They are retrieval and organizing devices that
allow the analysts to spot quickly, pull out, then cluster all the
segments relating to the particular question, hypothesis, concept or
theme. Clustering sets the stage for analysis, (p. 56)
In order to protect the anonymity of the districts, as well as the
individual interviewees, a masking pattern was used. The three districts
were given the fictional names of Peak School District Mountain School
District and Alpine School District All references to the interviewees from
the three districts were labeled by a number. Segments of the coded data
in the following chapters were, therefore, referenced by the following: the
school district stafF or administrator/board member, and a number from one
to four to designate the interviewee. One example is a segment stated by
the third interviewee on the staff of Alpine School District was designated as
(ASD StafF #3).
Additional information was used to supplement the interviews. A
review was made of the documents produced by each district's interest-
based bargaining team was done in order to gain a perspective of the
actual package developed. Additional documentation as provided by Peak
School District is presented in Appendix E sample pages from the
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Professional Agreement that outline the Issue Resolution Procedures,
specifically identifying the collaborative process; documentation provided by
Mountain School District is provided in Appendix F a sample of the
Collaborative Bargaining Team Hotline (C.B.T. Hotline): and documentation
provided by Alpine School District is presented in Appendix G samples of
the steps of the interest-based bargaining model, the background
information as provided by the US Department of Labor and a tentative
agreement for the 1998-99 school year that was completed in the spring of
1998.
Conclusion
This study is designed to provide descriptive information about
certified contract bargaining from an alternative approach to position-based
bargaining. The interest-based bargaining strategy is a process involving
techniques of establishing trust, team building and valuing risk-taking
behaviors in order to develop a product through established problem-
solving strategies.
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CHAPTER 4
CASE STUDY ONE: PEAK SCHOOL DISTRICT
This chapter examines the first of three school districts that made the
decision to use a form of interest-based bargaining to negotiate wage and
benefit agreements with certified staff members. Each district in the study
is identified by a fictional name. The first district will be identified as Peak
School District Peak School District is located in rural Colorado. The
District has a population enrollment of 4,100 students as of the 1997-98
school year. All school buildings in Peak School District are located in the
same community. Peak School District has six elementary schools, one
kindergarten through grade four charter school, one middle school, one
high school, and one alternative high school. The economic base of the
community relies on one main industry. This industry is growing and is a
large Colorado presence as well as a predominant national influence. The
community is also a center for retail trade for the region. The district has
experienced continual slow and consistent growth for the last 15 years.
The labor relations climate in the district and the community is pro-union.
The main industry in the community has a national union presence and is
regulated by strict rules and guidelines in its collective bargaining
agreements.
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Eight one-on-one interviews were conducted in the Peak School
District The interviewees included four certified members of the local
association (National Education Association), four members of the
administrative team, including the superintendent of schools and a former
member of the board of education. The interviews were conducted at the
school buildings in a one-on-one setting. The one interview with the past
board of education member took place at her office in a bank located in the
community. An interview guide (see Appendix A) was used and additional
questions were added as areas of interests were discovered and explored.
Peak School District labeled the form of interest-based bargaining it
used as Consensus Circle. The move toward interest-based bargaining in
the Peak School District started in the 1990-91 school year. The reason for
moving to interest-based bargaining was a result of a feeling of growing
frustration and tension caused by a traditional position based bargaining
mode. An administrative member stated:
In about *90-91 we started looking for a better way to do things
because it seemed as if we were always in opposition even many
times when we shared things in common. (PSD Admin/Board #3)
A staff member indicated that the negotiation experiences in the
traditional model had taken its toll in the district
Apparently we had some very, very ugly negotiations and we had the
old way where were on this side and youre on that side. It was
administrators and teachers and they came in and pounded heads
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with each other until they got an agreement A couple of times it
came very close to being a strike. (PSD Staff #2)
At the same time as all this tension was occurring in the negotiations
process, another significant dynamic occurred. This was a change in
superintendents. Strong feelings among both the certified stafFand the
administration/board initiated this change. The superintendent of Peak
School District before 1990 was seen as distant from the staff, maintaining
an autocratic leadership style. One staff member noted that the past
superintendents style was very closed.
.. .[the superintendent] was a very power oriented person. When
you talked to him he didnt want you to use his first name and he
didnt call you by your first name. He wanted to maintain that level of
differences. To me that is an imposing model that (a) does not work
in business and (b) sure as hell is not going to work in the education
setting. We are all in this together. (PSD Staff #2)
... and he was very extreme and he liked the labor management
conflict It was part of his way of doing things to maintain the major
power structure between labor and management. (PSD Staff #3)
In the 1990-91 school year a new superintendent was chosen to lead
Peak School District This new individual had been a district office
administrator in the Peak School District and had also had earlier
experience in Peak School District as a building principal. It was mentioned
by members of both the staff and administration/board that the introduction
of a superintendent with a more open style and a new method of more open
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negotiations was important in getting a fresh start in a system that was
fraught with tension.
He was very popular, and we were very happy that somebody
internal to the district and someone who knew the district was
promoted rather than hiring an outside expert (PSD Staff #2)
The administration of Peak District, under the direction of the
superintendent introduced the idea of interest-based bargaining to the
board of education first and then to the certified staff members through the
recognized teachers association.
It was the administration that introduced (interest based bargaining),
I give a lot of credit for the impetus on that to (the superintendent)
because he came in as superintendent about that time and having
been in the district a number of years saw the history of the
adversarial type and what it was creating and had created. (PSD
Admin/Board #1)
The administration spent some time researching a number of
varieties of interest-based bargaining techniques before choosing the
method that would be used in Peak School District. A number of
administrators and staff members were involved in the process of selecting
a model.
They went around and looked at all the different types of negotiation
styles and that is when they came up with the Consensus Circle
model. The first time they had someone come down that was very
knowledgeable of it (PSD Admin/Board #4)
The leadership of Peak District narrowed the choices of negotiation
processes to a possible primary method, brought teachers and
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administrators in from other districts that had success with the model to talk
about their experiences and then made a collective decision to select the
model.
Each group went through a selection process in order to choose
members for each team before any training would take place. Staff
members went through a process that solicited members from the entire
staff. There was an attempt to find members that had no single agenda and
wanted to accomplish the greatest good for the most members of the
teaching staff.
I was invited to be on the team by the people of the teachers
association and by the school district The first part was your
bringing people with mindsets already with what they want to
accomplish. I mean youre just coming in that way you want to get
this done. (PSD Staff #2)
From the teaching side they tried to pull people from each building.
They would ask for volunteers. As one would retire from the
committee they would try to replace him with another person at least
representing all grade levels. If they didnt get volunteers, they
would open it up and get a flyer to all PSD teachers saying, if you
want to be part of this, please let us know." If they didnt, they would
recruit They would come around and knock on your door and say,
we don't have anybody; would you mind maybe trying this." (PSD
Staff #1)
They wanted someone who would kind of represent a group opinion
and not someone who is going with their own private agenda. (PSD
Staff #2)
We have 350 teachers and out of that 350 teachers only 10 or 12 are
going to participate in the circle. So those 10 or 12 have a high
involvement but others, frankly, are concerned about very personal
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things salary, annual leave, and the benefit side of salary. (PSD
Admin/Board #2)
Administrative and board members were included as a matter of their
job function. Peak School District had all five board members participate in
the Consensus Circle process. The central office administrators, including
the superintendent director of finance, and the personnel director,
participated along with one principal at the elementary level and one at the
secondary level.
We had, I believe, a team of 25. There were 12 from the teachers
association and 12 from administration. The odd man out would
have been the facilitator. The administrative team always included
the superintendent and the business director. Then the building
principals would take turns serving on it There would be some other
people from central administration, like the director of curriculum,
director of personnel and board members. And then the teachers
association representative would be the president. We would try to
get a representative from each building site and then kind of
distribute that as far as number of members per building. (PSD Staff
#1)
The next step was to conduct formal training with representatives
from the certified staff as well as representatives from the administrative
staff and board of education.
The first time we did it in the district, though, we had very intensive
training. We came together and took many days to get ready, to kind
of get to know each other through a lot of activities to make sure we
learned to listen with respect and give the person time to talk. (PSD
Staff #2)
At the very outset we used the pure Bob Chadwick model. I think
there were six of us or so that received about 80 hours of training in
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the model from Chadwick. Originally, Bob came in as a consensus
consultant He came in to do our negotiations process. (PSD
Admin/Board#1)
The themes about the original training and any retraining that
occurred have common constructs. The themes of listening with respect
trust building, relationship building, developing common rules of operation
and going slowly were mentioned. Even small details, like the length of the
meetings, how the meetings are structured, and where individuals are
seated, assist the process in developing the trust needed to resolve issues
in this model.
The initial meeting is a weekend; so we take a Friday afternoon. We
bring everyone together in a full circle, and that day is basically all
grounding. We dont talk issues at all. It is basically just getting
everyone to where they can talk. And usually that is about a 5 hour
deal. (PSD Staff, #3)
Generally the first session runs about a day and one half. It might
start at 4:00-4:30 p.m. on a Friday afternoon and go to 10:00 p.m.
that night and go from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00-5:00 p.m. the next day.
(PSD Admin/Board #1)
We introduce ourselves, we sit in a circle, and were always in a
circle. We never do any large group activity at all except in a circle.
We never have a table in front of us. Chairs all facing each other.
And we are encouraged to sit in a different place in the room every
time we get up so that we see the room and we see other individuals
from a different perspective. If we had doctorates or anything we
wouldnt use our titles. (PSD Admin/Board #2)
We sat in a circle with no desks or tables so that the body language
is there you dont get to hide behind anything. Open chairs
definitely. So that is part of listening. Youre seeing and hearing the
whole person. (PSD Staff #2)
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The term grounding was mentioned by participants as a way to get
the process started and as a way of introducing the topics important in the
development of the Consensus Circle process.
A lot of people needed grounding time and the time to build a little
trust where they felt like they could say something. (PSD Staff #3)
Grounding activities are analogous to ice-breaking activities at a
party or training session in which the participants use the method as a way
to start some discussion and share in a way that is nonthreatening.
... grounding occurs when we introduce ourselves, we sit in a circle,
and were always in a circle. We never do any large group activity at
all except in a circle. We never have a table in front of us. We are
on an equal basis and we do grounding activities. The first one
usually tells who [sic] you are, where you work, what you do and how
you feel about being here today. And then sometimes they will go
with a best/worst. What is the best outcome, whats the very worst
outcome.
Sometimes, weve done some really fun activities. We stand in two
circles with an inside circle and an outside circle and you just talk to
the person directly across from you. Then every minute and one-half
to two minutes the inside circle turns one notch. That type of thing.
(PSD Admin/Board #2)
One important element of the grounding activities is greeting
exercises. Time is spent by the participants getting to know each other on
a more personal basis.
Oh, you do things like go around and introduce yourself to each
other and you have to say a relevant thing. What is something good
happening in my life. What is something bad happening in my life.
(PSD Staff #3)
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The greeting starts the process of equalizing the individuals in the
bargaining sessions. The blurring of roles is seen as critically important in
the interest-based bargaining process.
I think it, grounding, certainly has the potential to be helpful and
positive because it gives people a place to go where they can be
themselves and be someone that can be on equal footing with
people they see as the boss. (PSD Admin/Board #2)
The grounding process is also seen as important in developing the
basis for the working relationship that will be needed in order to discuss and
resolve difficult issues. One of the staff members interviewed summarized
the importance of the grounding.
For me it was really essential, because I needed to know where
these people are coming from, what they are bringing into the
process. (PSD Admin/Board #2)
The grounding or ice-breaking activities set up the conditions for
working on skills needed in a consensus mode. A critically important skill
that needs to be developed is the skill of listening. The need for speaking
was also stressed as important in the process of developing the
groundwork for Consensus Circle.
We talk an awful lot about listening with respect. It is something that
you hear a lot And facilitators explain to new people what it is. Its
not just about being quiet and polite, its really listening. (PSD
Admin/Board #2)
The other part of listening is that you had to repeat things back. And
say, This is what I think I heard you say, but you say it in your
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words, and if they say, no, no that is not what I meant, then you
take care of that communication right away. So listening was two
ways; you listen, then you try to repeat what they said. Forcing you
to wait for other people to speak helps you see that everybody does
have different opinions or that there are many of us with the same
idea. (PSD Staff #2)
You want to make sure everyone speaks whether they want to or
not And sometimes we did have to make people talk because it was
their turn. You didnt want to ever say, you cant be quiet here, you
have to at least say something. (PSD Admin/Board #4)
The establishment of a common set of operating rules or norms
was stated as very important in the use of the Consensus Circle.
At the beginning of the opening session we do establish some norms
and those norms almost always include listening listening with
respect And it also includes minor things, mostly on the logistics.
One of the norms is we all understand we need to go slow to go fast
and well talk about that a little bit How the time spent up front is
much more valuable than the time spent on the back end. That is a
big thing. (PSD Admin/Board #2)
The overall purpose for the training is to develop a method of open
communication built on respect and trust There is a strong belief that in
order to negotiate in an interest-based model, these elements are critically
important
... you really need to get to know who you are dealing with, what
personality, and leam to trust people before you start to negotiate.
(PSD Staff #2)
The training sessions were conducted by a facilitator. The role of
facilitator is seen as important in the process of the entire Consensus Circle
process.
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If you find somebody that is quiet and not speaking out make a
special effort to draw them into the discussion. Thats the facilitators
job. (PSD Admin/Board #4)
If a person is cut off by someone else, someone has to say, Hey
that is not how the model works, finish your statement When we go
around the circle, then you can give your opinion, but you do not just
cut someone off. That is why you really need strong facilitators.
You have got to have people that are not involved in the
conversation. (PSD Staff #2)
I really admired our facilitator because he taught you as you actually
were resolving or working through problems. So it was not only
facilitating but a teaching role as he went through the process. It
was the typical consensus model and of course the key in this whole
consensus processing, one thing that Chadwick is extremely good
at, is asking the right question at the right time. (PSD Admin/Board
#1)
The heart of any negotiation process is to determine what issues are
going to be considered in the bargaining process. Members of the Peak
School District who have participated in the Consensus Circle discussed
the process of selecting issues. The manner of selecting issues is seen as
mirroring what happens in a traditional bargaining process,
Prior to negotiations we had done verbal, one-on-one interviews with
all of our members and dutifully wrote down every issue. (PSD Staff
#1)
The teachers group association, they are doing the traditional, going
out and polling their group and getting the issues. (PSD
Admin/Board #1)
The board and administration go through a similar process to choose
issues to bring to the Consensus Bargaining Circle.
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When we meet we ask our administrators and the board, What are
some issues that we think we need to take to the table?" Many times
we have trouble coming up with issues. (PSD Admin/Board #1)
The issues that both the certified staff and the administrative and
board team see as critical issues to resolve appear to be the same as
issues in a traditional negotiation session:
Wages and salary. Flextime. We had discussion of class sizes.
Weve had discussion on whether or not to change our sick leave
policy. Planning time has been a big issue the two times I was on it
We talked about elementary planning time and we were fairly
successful. (PSD Staff #3)
One time there was a big issue on elementary planning time. Just
the year before this past year, we worked on a site-based decision-
making model, sick leave, personal leave and getting a transfer from
one school to another school. (PSD Staff #1)
While many of the issues deal with traditional concerns like salary,
benefits, and working conditions, members of both the teaching staff and
the administrative and board talked about differences between the type of
issues that are brought up by the two sides.
... a lot of the issues that come up, like I say, are just
communication things. People just dont tell another person what
their problem is. When you have a problem with the pencils, you call
the penal man. If you have a problem with how the funds are being
allocated, you call the bean counter. (PSD Staff #3)
An important part of any bargaining technique is to determine what
information is needed to understand an issue in order to draw a conclusion
and to propose a resolution. The interviewees talked about the gathering of
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information in the Consensus Circle process. The first step is to present
information in a neutral fashion.
Like this year, one of the issues weve got is the calendar. So, I
might be asked to present that issue. And in presenting it I dont tell
what we want or whatever, I just explain why it is an issue. (PSD
Admin/Board #2)
One of the main differences was that information was collected on an
issue by both sides of the team together. This eliminated the distrust of
what the data was representing.
People bring things, they bring reports, copies of documents and
budget materials and everybody passes it out (PSD Admin/Board
#2)
What information we have inside of the circle is what we have. (PSD
Staff #3)
One of the differences between this process and the traditional
bargaining one is that this process depends on sharing information
openly where the other process I think depends more on using
information as leverage at the appropriate time. (PSD Admin/Board
#3)
The team members were asked to define the term consensus and
how they saw it work in the Consensus Circle bargaining model. While
some differences exist in the perception of what a consensus agreement is,
the one common theme is that in the end consensus means all the group
members will agree to support the decision. If total agreement to support is
not reached, consensus has not been achieved.
t
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... yes its 100% because you get down to some things and you say,
OK, what do we have to do to get you to agree to this? What
changes have to be made? (PSD Admin/Board #4)
The key question always is, does anybody disagree? And if nobody
disagrees DONE. And if somebody says I have a problem with it,
then the question is how would you modify it to make it acceptable to
you? (PSD Admin/Board #1)
You couldnt get a complete consensus on a decision with any 20
people in our district I dont think. Basically what the consensus
model says is that were all going to agree to disagree in the end, but
we will accept this as the best possible solution given our state of
disagreement (PSD Staff #1)
All of a sudden you realize, heh, were there! (PSD Admin/Board #1)
After the issues are identified, they are grouped into categories.
Examples of the groupings could include financial issues, issues that have
to do with working conditions and issues that are instructional concerns.
The members of the Consensus Circle were divided into sub-groups to
work on a specific category of issues. The purpose of the sub-group would
be to research the issue and determine a possible solution to bring back to
the large group for its consideration. The sub-groups acted according to
the same set of rules or norms that were developed by the large group.
The whole purpose of dividing the circle into committees is because
we cant do every issue one-by-one with the whole circle; that would
be a nightmare. (PSD Staff #3)
So you group, pull issues, separate out work on the issues and
make a time. Right away you say, we are going to meet back in two
weeks. Come back with a progress report Now some of those
issues will be settled in two weeks. Weve got this one hammered
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out, we are ready to go. You put it to the vote of the people. One
hundred percent say, yes it is a dead issue. We got it down, we
write it up, put it in contract language or board policy language,
whichever way it needed to go. The ones that arent settled, we talk
about them in the small group, get more input from the big group, go
back to the little group and work on it again; then they are brought
back to the big group later. (PSD Staff #2)
For each one of those little groups we have a facilitator, a recorder
and a reporter. The job of the facilitator of each little group is to see
that everybody has an opportunity to participate and that we stay
focused on the issue. We dont get off into side conversations.
(PSD Admin/Board #2)
Every sub-committee had a mixture of people on it and we took turns
in the small group being facilitators. (PSD Staff #4)
Then we all come back together in a big Consensus Circle at the end
after all the committees had done the work; every committee reports.
(PSD Staff #3)
The full circle will get back together again and the sub-committee will
make a recommendation. (PSD Admin/Board #2)
The critical part of any negotiation process is the final product and
how the decisions were made to arrive at that conclusion. The interviewees
talked about coming up with group decisions that all members could
support The interviewees discussed the process of arriving at decisions in
a collaborative manner.
Its amazing when a lot of people would say what you were thinking.
They might say it in a different way, but they would say the same
thing you were thinking. You listen to each other and sure, you
might not agree, but you understand somewhat where the others are
coming from. (PSD Admin/Board #4)
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You try to persuade people. A lot more fact finding. I mean if you
want them to agree with you, you better back it up. (PSD Staff #2)
You just bum up flip chart paper like crazy, but thats your notebook.
If we had a statement here that somebody seemed to think was the
thinking of the group, wed put the statement up on the board. The
facilitator would say, does anybody disagree with that? And I might
say, well I dont like that word, I think if you use this word, it would
make that a little more powerful. We start going through those
solutions as a group. We go, this one, this one, and pretty soon
we have some things left on the board. We can refine it a little bit
and usually we get down to a situation where there are some small
changes to make. We finally but it to a thumbs-up, thumbs-down
check. If there are thumbs down, if anyone has thumbs down, then
we dont go ahead until weve heard again from that person. Well
ask questions of that person. If youre going to vote against it you
have an obligation to suggest something better. (PSD Admin/Board
#2)
The power of this group decision process seems to be in the ability
of individuals to work together to find the best solution to an issue.
Eventually, actually with amazing speed, after people have fully
discussed all the potential solutions, it becomes clear that the best
solution rises to the top. (PSD Staff #4)
The record keeping in the Consensus Circle model is done jointly by
all members as a part of the decision-making process.
We had the big easel sheets around the room and we had sheet
after sheet from top to bottom, hundreds of things. So then we tried
to decide how do we compile this and how do we represent our
constituents. (PSD Staff #1)
A role of the facilitator was to select key people to record the work
being done. The rationale was that this way they have to listen and
they are not engaged in something else at the time. (PSD
Admin/Board #1)
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The need to communicate the results of the Consensus Circle
bargaining process back to all constituents including the certified staff, the
administrative staff and the board of education is important.
The people from the circle are given responsibilities at their individual
buildings to get information out and get information back. So the
communications they get isnt just from teachers, its from all the
people in the Consensus Circle. (PSD Admin/Board #2)
We had a communication committee two years ago, and that has
been kind of a standard going thing now. Their job is to make sure
that the information gets out to the building. Usually the
communication committee makes contact with all the other
committees and there is like a little newsletter that says, sorry, dont
know benefits because the state hasnt come down with the funding
packet yet. (PSD Staff #3)
We write complete notes of what our meetings encompassed, and
we spread those around to our groups. They are hung in faculty
lounges, and put in mailboxes. (PSD Staff #2)
Then at a formal meeting of the board of education they accept the
negotiated agreement as a board. (PSD Admin/Board #2)
The staff, administrators, and the board of education members were
asked to identify the differences between the traditional bargaining model
and the Consensus Circle bargaining model used in the Peak School
District
One of the things that drives me crazy is the Pikes Peak area union
representative. He comes in and says we dont deal with facts, we
deal with emotion. (PSD Staff #3)
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