Managment’s role in the abirritation is that of the public safety director and the mayor. The
opposition (Firefighter’s union) has asked for a 15% increase in pay over three years, provision
for earlier retirement and full income protection for the firefighters’ long-term disability
insurance in case of injury on the job. The union justifies this position based on the higher
wages and benefits of firefighters in nearby Toronto. The union wants to approach parity with
Nevertheless, your position is that the city cannot afford such a great increase in cost. The
average increase in pay for city employees over the past two years has been 2.5% with no
increase in benefits. That is what the city is offering.
However, you know that the citizens will not accept a reduction in fire protection. In
addition, this year, the mayor (you) is running for re-election and does not want to give
political ammunition to his opponent, a firebrand liberal who claims that the current city
administration has reduced services, contributing to a drop in local employment. To
counter the opposition, the mayor (you) has made public statements calling for a reduction
in city spending and a move toward more privatization of city services to save money.
While firefighters could not be replaced by contractors, other services, such as fire
inspections which firefighters conduct, could be. The mayor (you) is also publicly
advocating a tax reduction for city residents.
Knowing this, the current mayor (you) needs a quick solution but cannot be seen as
yielding to the union. The mayor’s Public Safety Director (you) suggests settling for a pay
increase of 6% over 12 months or 8% over two years. The mayor (you) would consider this
but must feel that the city gets something in return.
Because fire protection is a critically important service, the firefighters cannot go on strike.
They can, however, take their case to binding arbitration. The president of the union knows
that an arbitrator would probably not give the union everything it has asked for but has
selected this option and exercised the union’s right to arbitration because the two parties
have bargained to impasse.
You must answer the following questions in preparation for the arbitration:
1. What is your role in the negotiation?
2. What steps of the collective bargaining process are assumed to have been completed up to this
point in the scenario?
3. What is your bargaining position? What are your arguments for negotiation?
With reference needed and please expand good with valid points.
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