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Seven successful wage negotiations methods that can help you avoid strikes

by , 25 April 2013
Wage negotiations between the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) and employers to end the seven day long bus strike have reached a deadlock. Both parties met at the CCMA to resolve the impasse to no avail. Don't let this happen to you! Read on to find out the seven essentials for successful wage negotiations to prevent disruptions at your workplace.

Successful wage negotiation is when the wage increase employees agree to comes to an amount you're happy to pay or at least an amount you can afford to pay as an employer.

In achieving this agreement, no serious damage should be done to your business or to your long-term relationship with your employees.

The biggest mistake you could ever make as an employer is to 'walk into wage negotiations with trade unions without a fundamental knowledge of collective bargaining, the negotiation process and the relevant legislation,' warns The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service.

But there are methods you can use to to conduct wage negotiations successfully and avoid a deadlock that'll and other disruptions to your business.

Avoid strikes using these seven wage negotiations essentials

  1. Don't attempt to lead wage negotiations until you've properly developed the skills necessary for successful negotiations. If you 'mess it up you could either unnecessarily cause a strike or end up agreeing to wage increases you can't afford,' says the Loose Leaf.
  2. Invest substantial time and effort in thorough preparation for wage negotiations.
  3. Devise a strategy that'll get you what you want, while still reaching a settlement that's acceptable to your employees.
  4. Ensure you've agreed strike rules with your employees and unions and a strike contingency plan in place well before wage negotiation time.
  5. When you reach a deadlock, don't hesitate to call in an experienced mediator.
  6. Ensure in advance you have the right people on your team and you have all the resources you need.
  7. Keep discussions calm, rational, impersonal, cordial and focused at all times.

Using these methods will ensure you conduct wage negotiations with your employees successfully and avoid a crippling strike.

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