EA Negotiations: The essential steps for Business Professionals

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Is your company getting the best possible results from of enterprise agreement negotiations? Do you obtain improved labour costs, productivity and employee motivation and commitment? This workshop is essential For HR professionals and line managers tasked with delivering a successful EA strategy.

We give you a step-by-step, practical and commercial framework for developing an EA strategy. We show you how to build your business case, conduct the negotiations and finalise and implement your EA! This workshop will give managers the confidence and skill to achieve an agreement that works best for their company.

Experienced and practicing negotiators will work with you and show you how to do it! See our testimonials at www.adelhelm.com.au/about-us/testimonials/


This workshop gives managers the knowledge and practical skills to get through the negotiating process from A to Z. Experienced negotiators and coaches will show you new techniques and a step by step process for achieving a well-designed and detailed business case. This allows you to plan a successful negotiating campaign.

Key topics covered:

  • An in-depth analysis and overview of the current EA negotiating environment
  • How to assess risks, opportunities and strategic options
  • Identifying the essential behaviours that contribute to a high negotiating intelligence (NQ)
  • How to select the best person in your company to lead the negotiations
  • A comprehensive outline of the process and method for planning and preparing a detailed business case
  • Understanding the negotiating rituals and how to leverage off these
  • A detailed overview of current negotiating tactics used by unions and how to counter these
  • How to modify your negotiating style and retain control of the communications at the bargaining table
  • How to convey difficult business messages
  • How to get your EA through the Fair Work Process
  • A process to fundamentally overhaul your old negotiating strategy to something that is in line with modern business practices
  • The opportunity to apply and review new and different negotiating techniques


This informative and practical workshop is designed for people wishing to learn the collective bargaining process from beginning to end. It focuses on key concepts and processes that enhance skills. Attending this and our Masterclass session results in cost efficient deals for organisations. Workshops are presented in a user-friendly, non-threatening environment. You will receive a confidential analysis of your personal negotiating profile.


This workshop is aimed at people who have never negotiated before or who negotiate infrequently, support teams and mandate givers, HR generalists, and line managers with unionised workforces. For best results, we recommend attending this workshop at least three months in advance of your first meeting with the union.


Collective Bargaining principles and practices

  • Detailed overview of the ritual followed by unions when negotiating with employers
  • Understanding the interaction between politics, power and unions at a National, Regional and local level
  • The collective psychology vs. the role of the individual
  • Why the positional & adversarial negotiating model is still the most commonly used. What other options exist?
  • Preparation & planning and how this differs substantially between unions and management
  • Who are the key players and what essential attributes are required to be successful
  • A realistic and practical risk assessment process before starting negotiations

The Law

  • Review of changes and practises to collective bargaining legislation
  • New legal options for employers

Planning and getting ready for bargaining

  • How to develop a detailed business case which ensures a common clarity of purpose
  • Getting the costing and financials right and establishing organisational priorities
  • Understanding and applying the total labour cost formula
  • Establishing rules and guidelines for the bargaining encounter
  • When and how to exchange and cost claims
  • Communications strategy and tactics both internally and externally – who is responsible for what?
  • A method and sample document for analysing and costing union claims
  • A technique for evaluating the real power of each party before commencing bargaining

Let the bargaining commence

  • Method for prioritising the union’s claims
  • Understanding the interactive structure for the opening phase of bargaining
  • Where to open and when to make concessions
  • An in-depth analysis of the unique communications process when in bargaining


The bargaining encounter

  • The behaviour and tactics that ensure you maintain maximum control of the process
  • A detailed review of the most common tactics used by unions and how you can respond to each
  • Tactics to pressure you, wage tactics, surface bargaining tactics and other traditional union bargaining tactics
  • Which of the four negotiating styles work best in a specific situation
  • Techniques for dealing with hostile or confrontational behaviour at the bargaining table

Reaching the end and settlement

  • Tactics and behaviours which facilitate closure
  • A practical and simple process for changing your current bargaining framework

Practical bargaining – what really happens?

  • A practical and very realistic simulation which allows you as part of a group to test and experiment with the new techniques and methods learnt
  • Both groups are guided by a coach throughout, in a relaxed, friendly, no-stress environment

Can’t see what you want? Contact the team to discuss a fully-customised in-house training option.