The MCCD Meet and Confer process follows the Interest-Based Negotiation (IBN) model. Also known as “Mutual Gains Bargaining” or “Integrated Bargaining”, it emphasizes problem solving through mutual acknowledgement of each group’s interests and concerns, and it requires collaborative problem selection, data gathering, and solution development. Unlike traditional methods of bargaining, it precludes unilateral demands on both sides.
Because IBN requires consensus building at each stage of the process, it can be far more time consuming than traditional methods of bargaining. Complex employment issues, for example, may require a multi-year commitment to research and develop mutually acceptable solutions. This is sometimes handled through a “Task Force” which is a sub-group of the M&C participants with members from both teams.
Though more time consuming, there are significant advantages for enterprises that value collaboration in their organization. It requires both teams to understand the complexity of issues from “the other side of the table.” It fosters trust and mutual respect in an organization and creates transparency. It is also significantly advantageous to associations or unions in “Right-to-Work” states where there is no statutory requirement to “Meet and Confer”, or no recourse to binding arbitration or protection under the National Labor Relations Board or its public sector equivalent.
While it is not a perfect system, it is ideal for academic institutions and non-profit enterprises that exist for the purpose of a public good, as opposed to competing private interests.