Interest-Based Negotiation (IBN)

Are you looking for an alternative to traditional collective bargaining?

The theory of IBM is that parties are much more likely to come to a mutually satisfactory outcome when their respective interests are met than when one “position” wins over the other.

Interest-based negotiation (IBN) is a rational approach to collective bargaining which helps management and labour reduce conflict that occurs during negotiations and during the life of the collective agreement.

The IBN process is facilitated by mediators from the Labour Relations Division.

Why IBN?

This process creates an environment of open and clear communication that helps employers, employees, and unions maintain good working relationships or improve difficult relationships over the long term.

This approach to problem solving has gained support among unions and employers, not only for collective bargaining, but for all labour management discussions which occur at the workplace. Advocates of IBN argue that traditional collective bargaining is often adversarial in nature, which can create barriers to agreement. IBN, on the other hand, creates a process for open communication and joint problem solving.

The IBN Workshop

In the IBN training workshop, employer and union representatives meet for two days of training in the IBN approach. The session is facilitated by mediators from the Labour Relations Division. The workshop consists of various presentations, exercises, videos, simulated negotiations and group discussions. The session is presented jointly to management and labour and can be customized to meet the parties’ specific needs.

Is IBN Right for Us?

The workshop gives both management and labour an opportunity to learn about the principles of IBN. The parties are not expected to discuss, during the workshop, if the interest-based approach is right for them. That decision may be made at a later date. Should management and/or labour decide that they may wish to use the IBN concepts during negotiations they can apply to the Labour Relations Division for further information and assistance. Facilitation in the interest-based approach will be tailored to the parties’ individual circumstances.

Who Should Participate in IBN?

A broad range of union and management representatives will benefit from joint training including; collective bargaining team members and key members of management, the union and staff. The principles and techniques of IBN are useful even if applied separately rather than as a system. The skills gained in the workshop will prove helpful in many interactions, including more traditional collective bargaining.

How do I apply for IBN?

Either party may submit a written request to the Director of Labour Relations.