Negotiating Labor/Management Agreements for Competitive Advantage

  • Registration fee:

  • September 11-13, 2017
    East Lansing Marriott at University Place
    300 M.A.C. Avenue
    East Lansing, MI 48823
    Phone: (517) 337-4440
  • Questions?

    Contact Carrie Mejorado, Program Coordinator
    Phone: (517) 355-9592


Gain real-world experience before engaging in labor/management negotiations where the stakes are high and mistakes can be costly. The impact of contract negotiations on the bottom line is lasting, and though they only occur every few years, no company or union can afford to send its negotiation team to the table poorly prepared. Highly effective negotiators add value by crafting agreements that facilitate a positive and productive workplace.

This course features a comprehensive and unique framework that identifies the multiple linkages between collective bargaining strategies and broader human resources management, operational and business strategies. This workshop will prepare you to think strategically about how your negotiation strategy aligns with your business and organizational plans.

Combining interest-based and classical approaches to negotiations, you will learn about the essential processes and tactical decisions that underlie the key stages of negotiating agreements.

You will participate in a simulated exercise built on a case exclusively designed for this program. The exercise will encourage you to resolve complex issues and apply your learned negotiating skills as a member of a team, to negotiate a landmark agreement that yields competitive advantage.


By attending Negotiating Labor/Management Agreements for Competitive Advantage, you will be prepared to:

By attending this 3-day course, you will enhance your value and ability to contribute to your organization. Our real-world approach and practical exercises will help you:

  • Conceptualize four stages of negotiations: planning, opening, bargaining, and closing
  • Analyze, frame, and formulate a strategic negotiations process
  • Conduct negotiation steps and processes
  • Empower the chief spokesperson
    • Deliver opening statements
    • Exchange proposals/demands and present ideas
    • Evaluate proposals
  • Apply the negotiation proposal/counter–proposal process
    • Utilize interest–based problem solving methods
    • Reach tentative agreements on non–economic issues
    • Package key economic items
    • Narrow differences through effective side–bar meetings
  • Reach closure and make final offers


Earn Recertification Credit Hours

Approved Provider This program has been approved for 20 (General) recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute. Please be sure to note the program ID number on your recertification application form. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute website at

The use of this seal confirms that this activity has met HR Certification Institute's® (HRCI®) criteria for recertification credit pre-approval.



The Four Stages of Negotiations

  • Planning, Opening, Bargaining, and Closing

Analysis, Framing, and Formulation of a Strategic Negotiations Process

  • Compiling and Assessing Business Information
  • Evaluating and Understanding the Dispute Domain
  • Aligning Negotiations with Business Strategy
  • Getting Agreement on Negotiation Strategy and Processes
  • Negotiating in Good Faith Under the Law

Negotiation Steps and Processes

  • Structuring Team Make-up and Roles
  • Empowering the Chief Spokesperson
  • Delivering Opening Statements
  • Exchanging Proposals/Demands and Presenting Ideas
  • Evaluating and Costing Proposals
  • Applying the Negotiation Proposal/Counter-Proposal Process
  • Utilizing Interest-Based Problem Solving Methods
  • Reaching Tentative Agreements on Non-Economic Issues
  • Managing Team Caucuses to Stay on Plan
  • Packaging Key Economic Items
  • Narrowing Differences through Effective Side-Bar Meetings
  • Reaching Closure and Making Final Offers
  • Closing, Commitment, and Obtaining Ratification

The Negotiator as Reflective Leader

  • Understanding Your Role as Leader and Coach
  • Stage Crafting to Sell Your Proposals
  • Accelerating Bottom-Line Results


Bill Cooke Bill Cooke, PhD, serves as Director and Professor in the School of Human Resources and Labor Relations at Michigan State University (MSU). Prior to assuming his current position in 2008, he directed the University of Michigan's executive education programs in collective bargaining for over 20 years. Bill has also consulted directly with over 25 companies and their unions—helping them develop collective bargaining strategies, training negotiation teams and facilitating interest-based negotiations. Included among these companies are BellSouth, Dow Chemical, DTE Energy, Ford, Honeywell, Michelin and Quaker Oats.
Greg Freehling Greg Freehling, has been in the labor relations field for more than 23 years with Alcoa, Inc. He has a wealth of experience in contract administration, grievance investigation, and hearings, and has prepared and presented innumerable cases at arbitration. Mr. Freehling is an instructor for Administering the Labor Contract, Managing Grievances, and Preparing for Arbitration.
Tom Posey Tom Posey, B.A., is the founder and principal of Posey Associates, LLC. A recognized labor strategist and negotiator, Tom's past experience includes CHRO and executive human resources and labor relations leadership positions at Fortune 500 companies such as Anheuser-Busch, American Standard/Trane and BellSouth. He has worked with over twenty different unions, including the CWA, IBEW, IBT and IUOE, to negotiate effective agreements.
Eileen M. Wilson Eileen M. Wilson, PhD, is a faculty member at Michigan State University and has provided stewardship for MSU for 33 years including serving as special assistant in the Office of the President and Board of Trustees for two years, assistant dean of undergraduate education in the Broad College of Business and on numerous university committees. She holds a Master of Arts in Philosophy, Masters in Labor and Industrial Relations, and a PhD in College and University Administration. Dr. Wilson has over 30 years of HR/LR experience, taught labor management relations at MSU for over 15 years and teaches a study abroad program in St. Andrews Scotland each year.

Programs will be taught by one or more instructors listed above.



Registration fee: $2,495

  • Registration fees include all course materials.
  • Travel and hotel expenses are not included.
  • Space is limited, so we advise registering as soon as possible to secure your participation.

Program times:

Registration & continental breakfast: 8:00am - 8:30am
Program time:
   Day One: 8:30am - 6:00pm
   Day Two: 8:30am - 6:00pm
   Day Three: 8:30am - 3:30pm
Networking lunch: 12:00pm - 1:00pm
September 11-13, 2017 course offering
September 11-13, 2017
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East Lansing, Michigan
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  • Give us a call... We would be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding this training program. You can reach us at (517) 355-9592.
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    Please contact Dr. Tina Riley at for more information.
  • Applying by mail or fax... Please download our catalog to fill out your registration information and send it by fax to (517) 432-0138 or by mail to:

    Human Resources Executive Education
    School of Human Resources and Labor Relations
    South Kedzie Hall
    368 Farm Lane, Room S423
    East Lansing, MI 48824


  • Cancellation four weeks prior to program start:  10% cancellation fee; remainder of program fee refunded.
  • Cancellation less than four weeks but at least two weeks prior to program start:  50% cancellation fee.
  • Cancellation less than two weeks prior to program start:  no refund.
  • These cancellation fees apply even if the participant wishes to reschedule to a later date for the same program or a different program.  Participants may send a substitute from the same organization for the same program and date with prior written notice and avoid the cancellation fee.

MSU reserves the right to cancel programs when enrollment criteria are not met or for conditions beyond its control. Any additional costs incurred by the enrollee of cancelled programs are the responsibility of the enrollee.



Accommodations for people with disabilities or special dietary needs may be requested by calling HR Executive Education at (517) 355-9592. We will do all we can to accommodate you. It would be especially helpful if you would contact us at least three weeks before the program.


  • MSU's Federal ID Number is 38-6005984
  • Business casual attire.
  • Please, no audio or video recording.


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    South Kedzie Hall
    368 Farm Lane, Room S423
    East Lansing, MI 48824
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