Alternative Dispute Resolution in Teachers' Strikes

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1896 Words
Date:  2022-05-09

Ever since time memorable, disputes have been an unavoidable component of human interaction and the society needs development of innovative and efficient methods of dealing with them. To resolve arising disputes the court system was developed. However, there are very many cases pending in various courts worldwide due to lack of efficient machinery for processing of these disputes. As an alternative to court, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) was established to help resolve the dispute. Therefore, the alternative dispute resolution is the solution of a dispute that takes place out of court (Gaitskell, 2011). The alternative dispute measure usually involves the use of negation between the parties in dispute. This process can take place with or without the assistance of a neutral third party.

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The current form of differences between the teacher's and their employers require the development and use of effective measure for rapid dispute resolution. Therefore, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) becomes more significant than trials. It is noted that the main objective of this system of disputes resolution is not only to setting disagreement, but also to reduce the caseload of courts. The caseload in courts impairs the proper level of justice administration due to time factor.

Therefore, teacher's strike can be best solved outside the courtroom. The first reason for teachers strike is poor remuneration. Teachers are paid less than what other graduates from colleges and universities are paid. In the United States of America, a teacher is earning an average of 77% of other college graduate salaries. It is only in Michigan State where teachers are paid slightly high with 82.7% of what other college graduate earns. Secondly, there are much large wage penalties for the male teachers. The wage penalty of the male teacher was -22.1% in 1979 to mid 1990s. This upgraded to -15% in 1995 through the early 2000s. It has stood at -24.5% from the year 2015. The low payment is one of the disputes that cause teachers strike.

Secondly, teachers complain of large classes with more than 30 students. The classes are difficult to teach as the teacher needs to exert tremendous effort in teaching. It is also difficult to deliver a satisfactory knowledge to students. The noise in such classes is also inevitable, which is an additional stress to the teachers. This is due to the limited number of teachers that are employed, yet there are many graduate teachers who have not been employed.

Other factors that need consideration are teaching facilities. The inadequate teaching facilities in most of the schools have impacted the teaching resulting in poor performance of the students. In some cases, colleges do not equip teachers with the skills to handle technical subjects this has contributed to performances in school.

Current Policy being employed to come up with the resolution

Teachers may choose to strike so that they may coerce employers or the border members to meet their demands. Teachers, as any other employees, have a right to strike, as it is guaranteed under the National Labor Relation Act. The teacher's strike is currently resolved using the collective bargaining procedure. In this process, both the public and private school elect board members to bargain for collective interest of the teachers. Board members are to bargain in good faith since negotiation can become heated and intense. According to the United States National Labor Relation Act, the term "good faith" focuses on fairness, openness, mutuality of conduct, and cooperation that exists between the parties involved. In the process, the statutory language must define the scope of collective bargaining. The scope will, therefore, consist of hours of work, wages, and terms and conditions of employment, benefits, sick leave, and insurance. When there is no language defining the scope of collective bargaining, the school boards, and teachers need to consult the relevant case law that is in that state in case they have set forth parameters. The collective bargaining agreement is expected to recognize and honor the contracts that exist even if they are through other agreements. Collective bargaining process views refusal to negotiate in good faith as an unfair labor practice with regard to the American National Relations Acts.

In the process of solving the dispute using the collective bargaining process, negotiation may fail to yield a complete agreement. It is termed as good faith effort fails to bring forth a resolution for the dispute that exists between the teachers union and their employers, and the following stage is a legal impasse. In this process, the active bargaining between the parties in dispute is suspended. The teachers union and the employers are given a series of options after the impasse has been declared. The first step in this stage of the impasse is mediation; the parties, in this case, employ a mediator who acts as a neutral third party. The mediator helps the two sides to reach a compromised decision. Though, the mediator is not empowered to make any binding decision as they function only as advisors in the dispute resolution process. The mediation may be used in the public sector after the declaration of impasse. The federal mediator may be employed in this case.

In collective bargaining process, the mediation may fail; in this case, the statues of most states require that the factfinder is employed. The function of a fact finder is to analyze the facts concerning the bargaining process and seeks a potential compromise that may be recognized. As it is in the mediation stage of this process, the revelries are not bound by the recommendations that are given out by the fact finder, even though it may have some public influence regarding the most appropriate resolution of the prevailing dispute that causes the teacher's strike. The third option among the series of options given in this process is arbitration. The public education sector employs an arbitrator whose function is the same as that of a fact finder. The difference is that the arbitrator's decision is binding to the teachers' union board members and their employers. The purpose of collective bargaining to avoid the teacher's strike and make the agreement between the two parties.

Evaluation Various Methods of ADR in Light Of the Nature Of Teachers' Strike


Negotiation is the process that is used by human beings to search for terms to acquire what they want from someone else, who on the other hand wants another thing from them. A multiparty conversation that is made by either two or more parties with the basic idea of reaching a consensus as it enables groups of agents to make a natural agreement concerning their plan, goal or belief is the basic form of this agreement. Herring, (2017)defined negotiation as the process that takes place when two or more parties have some shared interest and some opposing interests, then a final agreement is reached through back and forth communication.

For the teachers strike to be resolved, they can use negotiation which may be either competitive or cooperative. When they employ the competitive negotiations, which known as distributive, assertive and positional, there will be a concern of maximizing their profit as in the form of remuneration. The negotiators are expected to have tough and assertive language, employ tools like threats, coercion or deception, and not go provide much importance to the relationship with their employer. They are similarly expected to have suspicion and hostility towards the employers, subtract certain items from the deal such as failing to mention of the vacation privileges for them to get more profit (Perlman, 2015). Besides, they will listen less to employers and talk more as they want always to dominate. The selected board member to negotiate on behalf of the teachers will like even close the negotiation by giving out a final word as an offer and would not even prefer to bargain over it. The competitive negotiation can be used by the teachers due to the belief that they have nothing to lose even if theemployers maintain their status quo. The teachers' board members, therefore, need to display an effective ability to the faster evaluation of their interest and to display strong communication skills even during the tough conditions. The competitive negotiation makes the teachers' representatives feel that they are trying hard enough for the employers to submit to their demands. The competitive negotiation may have side backs at the end as it yields reduced commitment, enthusiasm and even damages the relationships. This because the teachers' representative may seem to display authority, which is a real sense they don't have besides believing that they know best. Competitive negotiation may make the employers become competitive to leading to the prolonged labor of disputes. Quasi-strength of this form of negotiation is that the tactic often intimidates the employers hence creating a situation of overwhelming the cooperative form of negotiation.

Some of the unethical techniques that are usually employed by competitive negotiation are in the form of lying, bluffing, force, stealing, distracting. In lying, the proposed settlement is offered as the fact of the matter is lied about to offer a bigger picture of the outcome. For bluffing, the facts are usually exaggerated for it to provide a greater picture of the consequences. The teachers may be made to believe that the agreement is of advantageous to them, which is not true. In these conditions, risk conclusions and preparation for the following consequences are considered by the negotiators. The third unethical tactic that is usually used in competitive negotiation is a force, which may be in the form of threat, coercing and dominance for the employers to accept the settlement, unsympathetic and emotional attitude and throwing of a tantrum in the negotiation process. Many times the competitive negotiation has also been characterized by stealing; hence it marks the fourth unethical tactic in this case. This may be in the form of unauthorized acquisitions of data from the teachers' employers. Distracting marks the fifth tactic of unethical categories that are usually employed in competitive negotiation. The distraction can be in the form of pulling away from major concern, forcing and arguing about petty minor issues or sarcasm, interruption, gestures, and insults may be used to distract. Lastly, the tactic may be in the form of blaming each other just to divert from the main issue.

To increase the bargaining capacity andachieve optimum benefit for those they represent, the competitive negotiators may employ the above unethical techniques. This will be employed as the situation is becoming tougher with time. Most people have criticizes this technique as its focus on the specific positions but will not solve the dispute as it does not discern the true interest of both the teachers and their employers. In this case, they might cease to defend those they represent and concentrate on justifying the use of the unethical technique.

Cooperative Negotiation

In cooperative for of negotiation, the teachers' representatives and their employers are collaborating and cooperating for them to achieve a common objective, which is in the best interest of both the parties. In this form of negotiation, each agent from both sides may have a different point of view of the best way to solve the problem, their views compiled together via negotiation as they attempt to solve the dispute considering only partial views from each side. For the interest of anyone them to be catered for, the negotiators put together an optimized partial law and collaborate for they to reach a common item. This form...

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Alternative Dispute Resolution in Teachers' Strikes. (2022, May 09). Retrieved from

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