Public Education Collective Bargaining Academy

Labour–management negotiations involve a series of interrelated and complex processes. There are a variety of bargaining techniques which lead to the successful negotiation of a collective agreement, including preparation for bargaining, considered by many to be the most important stage in the bargaining process. The first day of this interactive workshop provides an overview of collective bargaining with support staff unions in the public education sector. During the first day of this session, we will discuss various foundational aspects of collective bargaining, including knowledge of the law, planning, strategizing, preparing and finally, negotiating, all in the context of our challenging environment.

The Collective Bargaining Academy is an intensive and highly interactive learning opportunity that occurs inside of a unique three-day format. The Academy, covers all aspects of collective bargaining with lectures, facilitated discussions, small group activities, and a collective bargaining simulation aimed at providing participants with an opportunity to learn through practice. This session will include individuals from the labour relations community with extensive experience and expertise in collective bargaining, to enhance the learning opportunities.

The goal of the Academy is to provide bargaining team members with focused training on the dynamics of bargaining, language drafting, and political strategies necessary to succeed at the negotiating table.  The Collective Bargaining Academy provides participants with the information, context, and hands-on skills needed to engage in collective bargaining:

  • Awareness of the potential legal snares and pitfalls
  • Bargaining preparation
    • Choosing a negotiating team
    • Developing a successful strategy
    • Ensuring availability of resources, both personnel and material
    • Briefing constituents
  • Facilitated learning on the art of negotiations through a collective bargaining simulation
    • The protocols and conventions of collective bargaining
    • The importance of understanding (but not necessarily agreeing with) other points of view
    • Increasing understanding of the differences between positions, objectives, and interests and how these differences influence the negotiation outcome
    • The forces that shape collective bargaining
    • The subtleties of moving negotiations to a successful conclusion.

Academy Structure

The Academy takes place over three days. Each day starts at 8:30 am and concludes on the last day at 4:30 pm. The evenings of days two and three will be used for preparation and exercises. Registrants are reminded that given the nature of the simulation, timing of events is somewhat fluid and certain activities may take place outside the normal work day.

Success in the academy is directly related to the energy and commitment of the participants!

Upcoming Workshops

To be determined.


If you have any questions concerning the workshop, please contact Donna Verones by e-mail at or by phone at 604.730.4501.

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