How the PSA manages the conduct of negotiations

Policy on the Conduct of Negotiations for Collective Agreement

The PSA plans and co-ordinates bargaining to ensure consistency across the union. It is a disciplined approach intended to ensure the best outcome from bargaining and protection of members’ pay and conditions.

The secretariat (and assistant secretaries) exercises a degree of co-ordination and control of the entire bargaining process to ensure consistency with the priorities and strategy.

Negotiating teams are accountable for achieving the best possible outcome for the members they represent and to the wider PSA for any precedent value in their settlement. Negotiating teams are composed of members (usually delegates) who, in any given situation, best reflect the range of members represented and who between them have the skills suited to the task of bargaining. Negotiating teams also contain a PSA staff member acting as an advocate who leads both the content and process of bargaining.

Negotiating teams are guided by a bargaining brief established to set up a framework for bargaining in that enterprise, including objectives for bargaining. They also negotiate a bargaining process agreement with the employer to govern the relationship between the parties during bargaining.

Members covered by a collective agreement get to approve the bargaining brief and to decide by vote whether or not to ratify the agreement once bargaining has concluded.