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Interest-Based Negotiations (Interest-Based Problem Solving)

Samuel Carmen and Richard Fincher are nationally recognized consultants and trainers in interest-based negotiations for labor-management relations. Since 2000, we have trained and facilitated labor negotiations in eight school districts in Arizona.

  • The negotiation of labor and employment agreements is increasingly complex. Traditional bargaining is often about relative power and willingness to use it against each other, often at the expense of a better agreement or even the relationship. We utilize interest-based problem solving as a process that enables negotiators and leaders to become joint problem-solvers. The process assumes that mutual gains are possible, that solutions which satisfy mutual interests are more durable, and that parties should help each other achieve a positive result.
  • Affiliation/Membership in IBPS Organizations: We have strong affiliations with numerous organizations focused on IBPS, including the Phoenix office of the FMCS, the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, the California Foundation for Improvement in Employee-Employer Relations (CFIER).
  • Knowledge of Education Reform Issues: We have extensive knowledge in educational reform issues such as school financing, vouchers, charter schools, teacher merit pay, class size, school accountability, and graduation exams.
  • Commitment to Client Self-Sufficiency: We provide client learning with the clear goals to create internal competence and self-sufficiency. Theory, materials, and lessons learned are all openly shared with clients.
  • Experience with Open Meeting Format: We have knowledge and skills to provide IBPS learning in an open meeting setting.
  • Adult Learning Theory: We conduct instruction exclusively using an adult learning model. Such learning requires a highly participatory, case-oriented experience with allows for different learning styles and uses multiple media approaches.
  • Constituent Awareness and Feedback: We recognize that effective IBPS requires ongoing and credible communications and understanding by constituents. Historically, this is a difficult challenge for labor organizations. Our training programs focus on this critical requirement.

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