Ahead of annual negotiations between the Pleasanton Unified School District and labor groups starting this week, the board recently took a crash course in a new approach to navigating negotiations between school administrators and staff members.
After months of tense negotiations between the Pleasanton Unified School District and the Association of Pleasanton Teachers, union members voted to authorize a strike in October. Called “a non-positional approach to negotiations,” the school district is considering adopting interests-based negotiation (IBB) as a conflict resolution model that “would be used at all negotiation tables to varying degrees.”
“We are certainly not interested in committing to last year’s activities and actions,” PUSD Deputy Superintendent of Human Resources Julio Hernandez said at the Jan. 14 board meeting. “This is an attempt by the district to try to find a way to minimize conflict and create a system for the positive resolution of potential conflict.”
Superintendent David Haglund called the training “an opportunity to establish a problem-solving mechanism to deal with issues or conflicts across the organization.”
According to a staff presentation that evening, IBB is different from traditional negotiations, in that “two parties have the issue in front of them and they identify all of the interests that both parties have regarding this issue.”