Bargaining and Negotiation

This course will teach you how to build power to influence negotiations.



Intended Audience

Industrial and Legal Officers, Organisers and Campaigners

Delivery Mode



5 days




Negotiation is not just about what happens at the table. Bargaining and Negotiation goes a step further, teaching the critical toolkit you’ll need as an industrial officer to navigate complex power dynamics in diverse bargaining environments.

You will learn not only how to build power to influence negotiations, but also learn highly transferrable techniques that will prove invaluable at the negotiating table.

This course includes a practical case study culminating in a negotiation role play that will be recorded for participant review.


By the end of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Identify the power dynamics involved in negotiations and how to use organising to strengthen our power
  • Demonstrate key negotiation strategies at the negotiation table
  • Outline the legislative requirements and timelines involved in bargaining under the Fair Work Act
  • Develop organising plans to support at the table negotiations


Involving Members, Activists and Delegates

Investigating the critical role that members play in any workplace environment
Power relationships between employer and workers and what workers can do to balance the scale
Engaging members in bargaining and how to effectively communicate with members at each stage of the bargaining process

General Truths of Negotiation

Fundamental concepts of negotiation

Preparing to Bargain – Research, Analysis and Planning

The organising cycle in the bargaining context
Role of research and analysis in mapping strength
Situational analysis of union power and employer power
The difference between strategy and tactics

Bargaining under the Fair Work Act

Overview of the content and process requirements for workplace agreement-making under the Fair Work Act
Analysis of the opportunities and risks throughout the process and minimum requirements that an agreement must meet

Positions and Interests

Understanding positions and interests as critical to effective bargaining processes

Negotiation phases

At the bargaining table, the running of a negotiation meeting, the phases: what works, what doesn’t work and how you can build an effective argument

Strategic Questioning

Strategic Questioning is a powerful tool that can be used in research, to connect with and move members, as well as at the negotiation table to shift the employer

Who’s at the table?

Effective communication at the negotiation table
CAR model (Concept, Action, Relationship) to identify communication preferences

Managing the Employer: Anticipating the Employer’s Moves

Risk management
Employer strategies and tactics

Delivery an Agreement

Finalising an Agreement and implementation


Delivery Style

The delivery style in this course draws on participants’ work and life experiences and uses a range of methodologies to make learning relevant and engaging including video, discussion, slides, and group work.

The course builds on a key case study culminating in a live bargaining scenario which is recorded for the participants’ review.


Industrial Foundations or Organising Foundations or equivalent organising experience

Credly Badge

Course Enrolment


24 – 28 June | 9:00am to 5:00pm

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1 – 5 July | 9:00am to 5:00pm

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21 – 25 October | 9:00am to 5:00pm

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28 October – 1 November | 9:00am to 5:00pm

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