Ground Rules


The parties agree to the following ground rules for negotiations for the successor contract to the 2016-2019 collective bargaining agreement.

  1. Good faith. The parties agree to meet and bargain in good faith.
  2. Team members. Bargaining teams will have spokespersons (Lead Negotiators as default) and only eight (8) members of a team may speak during any one session unless a team member is answering a question directly proposed to them.
  3. Room Reservations. The parties will endeavor to create a list of mutually agreeable rooms and spaces for bargaining. If the GTFF finds large rooms they find meet their needs, they should notify the University. The University will reserve bargaining and caucus rooms for each session. Whenever possible, the University will attempt to reserve rooms off the list of mutually agreeable bargaining rooms and/or rooms without a reservation fee. In the event that the University reserves spaces with an associated reservation cost (including equipment, materials, etc.), the parties agree to divide the costs, with the University bearing 70% of the cost and the Union 30% or the GTFF may locate an alternate mutually agreeable bargaining space and caucus room.
  4. Lead negotiators. Each bargaining team shall include a Lead Negotiator who shall be empowered to engage in bargaining and bargain to conclusion. The Lead Negotiators shall be responsible for  maintaining team conduct and shall serve as primary spokespersons at the table.
  5. Negotiations. The parties will try to hold negotiations in neutral locations. Negotiations shall be open to the public. Either party may provide streaming audio or video of a bargaining session on the internet so long as that recording is not saved for any duration of time and is available on a platform available to any University employee. No person may make recordings of a bargaining session or livestream. Such livestreams will contain an explicit disclaimer that they are not to be recorded pursuant to these Ground Rules. If a recording derived from the livestream is discovered livestreaming will no longer be allowed. If a recording is discovered made by an audience member via a recording device unconnected to the livestream, that specific audience member may be barred from future sessions. Each team may provide individuals from outside their respective bargaining team to speak to specific issues with at least 24 hours prior notice to the other team’s Lead Negotiator.
  6. Meeting times. The bargaining teams shall meet once per month during fall term and twice per month during the winter term. Sessions shall generally be scheduled in two to four hour increments. The frequency and duration of sessions may be adjusted by mutual agreement of the lead negotiators. If a tentative agreement is not reached by the end of winter term, the parties shall meet more often or for longer per session than during winter term during spring term except by mutual agreement. Both parties will endeavor to reach a tentative agreement before the end date of the current collective bargaining agreement on March 31, 2019.
  7. Proposals. All proposals and counter proposals shall be presented in writing, one copy per team member, plus two additional copies per team  up to a maximum of ten (10) copies. Electronic Microsoft Word copies of exchanged proposals will be provided one hour before the negotiation session. If a proposal is not passed before the negotiation session begins because it is not ready or because the party believes that it requires a detailed explanation prior to passing it at the table, it shall be passed during the session as soon as practicable but in no event after the the article is proposed at the table. This provision does not apply to either parties’ opening proposal package. All new proposals and issues addressing matters not previously brought to the bargaining table shall be exchanged no later than February 1, 2019, except as required for the exchange of counter proposals or by mutual agreement of the Lead Negotiators.
  8. Tentative agreements. Tentative agreements shall be so initiated by Lead Negotiators and are subject to reaching agreement on the opened article and other issues.
  9. Information requests. Reasonable information requests necessary for negotiation will be in writing and will be directed to the Lead Negotiator for each party. The information will be provided in a timely manner. If additional costs are involved, the party requesting the information will be notified prior to the preparation and billed accordingly, unless any state law or case law demonstrates costs to be covered otherwise.
  10. Caucuses. Either bargaining team may call for a caucus at any time, and this request must be respected by the other party. At that time, both parties shall adjourn to their respective caucus rooms for a reasonable period. A separate room shall be provided for use by the University’s bargaining team for the purpose of caucus facility unless specifically requested otherwise. Separate room(s) shall be at a reasonable distance from the bargaining room to assure privacy.
  11. Code of Conduct. The parties are encouraged to conduct themselves professionally and to interact respectfully. If the conduct of a person present in the negotiation room disrupts or interrupts either party, thereby preventing progress at the table, the affected party will immediately notify the Lead Negotiator of the other party. The Lead Negotiators will then confer and attempt to resolve the interruption. any behavior not expressly prohibited by these rules shall be deemed acceptable behavior so long as it remains within the confines of good faith bargaining.


PDF Version: Ground Rules – Signed Copy