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BUSS-Labor negotiations-Identify ethical systems that may

BUSS: Labor negotiations

IWithholding Information

a. Identify
ethical systems that may guide the parties to a negotiation.

b. Examine
the substantive fairness of the negotiation.

c. Examine
the procedural fairness of the negotiation.

d. Differentiate
between concealment behaviors in negotiations that are ethical and those that
are unethical among the parties in the negotiation.

e. Evaluate
how the parties can learn to create trust in a one-shot negotiation and in a
long-term negotiation relationship.

During recent labor negotiations, both parties knew that the
rising cost of health insurance was going to be a major issue. Two years
earlier in an attempt to curtail costs, the employer’s management, without
publicizing or concealing the fact, decided to become self-insured. The
previous insurance provider had agreed to become a third-party administrator,
so it was likely that the change would not have been apparent to the employees.
During the current negotiations, the employer asked that the employees agree to
change benefits in order to lessen the premiums the employer paid for the
health insurance. The employer told the employees no other measures could be
used to reduce those growing costs. In response, the employees asked the
negotiator if the employer would consider becoming self- insured so their
benefits could stay the same while the employer would be able to control the
costs because there wouldn’t be an insurance company realizing a profit from
their contributions.

It became apparent to the employer’s negotiator that the
employees had not noticed the change to self-insurance two years earlier.
Unfortunately, any savings by becoming self-insured had already been realized
in the health care program and would not change the employer’s need to have
benefits reduced now in order to cut costs in the future. The negotiator
worried that if the employees knew their employer had already become
self-insured, they would not be willing to give up some of the plan’s benefits,
expecting rather that the employer absorb the cost. On the other hand, the
negotiator wasn’t sure it was right to withhold the information from the employees,
regardless of the outcome of the negotiations.

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