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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Thursday 26 June 2014

Just Imagine - Open, Responsible Negotiations on Common Ground

When you're out on common, open ground, yeah - it's easier for people to see the lay of the land.
So, while there isn't no money - there's allocated money, there's deficit, there's new tax options, etc. - the reality is that we'd be in a much stronger position reducing the cost of what we're doing and not taxing those with little spare income more.
But whoever said it was all about money?
Traditionally, union bargaining is about a narrow suite of things; salary, vacation time, benefits, etc. The goal is to get what you can for your members from employers who are trying to keep what they can in terms of flexibility and reduced cost.
One side pushes their own interests, the other theirs, with the expectation that the pushing and pulling will land with best-case solutions.  Which, of course, is never the case.
Unions penalize non-unionized workers, protect members instead of empowering them; employers focus on their bottom line instead of systematic solutions.  The silo-based focuses result in duplication, gaps and overlaps that are entirely avoidable and, above all, costly.
So - how might we stop focusing on our siloed solutions and do the open, common ground thing?
There is so much that's wrong with the way work is constructed; training, communication, time vs productivity commitment, occupational mental health, so on and so forth that is being ignored, because players are so "fixed" on their pre-determined wins.  It doesn't have to be.
Of course, the number one thing that needs to change before everything else becomes possible is culture.  Office culture, unions culture, union-and-government culture, so on and so forth.  People need to stop being so damned defensive, so one-off and focus on iterative shared solutions.
I can tell you right now, there are a ton of virtuous schemers out there working in different sectors with the goal of making this happen, meeting in the middle.  It's a long slog, though, with no guarantee of success in the short term.
That's the whole point though, I though - to go far, move forward together.

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