Enterprise Bargaining Masterclass

This workshop, delivered in partnership with Corrs Chambers Westgarth, will guide you through all aspects of the enterprise bargaining process, including preparation, processing, negotiating, project management, industrial action, closing out bargaining and getting the enterprise agreement in place.

Build on your strategic Enterprise Bargaining knowledge in this Masterclass, from preparing for enterprise bargaining to closing out, looking to the future and planning for the following Bargaining Agreement.

Course Overview

  • What is the strategic framework for the University?
  • What do you want to achieve as an organisation?
  • What stands in the way of achieving what we want?
  • What timeframes apply?
  • Institutional appetite for the enterprise bargaining process
  • What is an Enterprise Agreement (EA)?
  • Recent changes to the Fair Work Act
  • What are the options available?
  • Arbitration – The risks and opportunities
  • What is the BATNA?

Topics covered

Preparing for Enterprise Bargaining

  • Consider the nominal expiry date of the current EA and any obligations to begin bargaining.
  • What specific things does the university want to achieve in the EB?
  • Communication strategy with staff and stakeholders.
  • Which unions have a stake in bargaining?
  • Setting up the university team
  • Putting in place appropriate supports (minute taking/chairing/version control etc)
  • Who should be covered by the agreement?
  • Analysing the logs of claims
  • When do you reveal your agenda?
  • Financial briefing for bargaining representatives

Starting the enterprise bargaining process

  • Communications with staff and stakeholders.
  • Sending out the NERR
  • Follow-up communications.
  • Timing of initial meetings
  • Pacing of negotiations
  • Length of meetings and time of day.

Negotiating (In the room)

  • Where to hold the negotiations?
  • Where does your side sit? Where does the other side sit?
  • Dealing with typical behaviours
  • Calling “timeouts”
  • Sticking to your script

Project Management – Assessing progress?

  • What milestones have been achieved?
  • Have the staff been kept informed?
  • Avoiding going over the same old ground
  • The difference between “discussed” and “agreed” points
  • Pausing negotiations (tactically or by necessity)
  • When do you make the salary offer?

Industrial action

  • What types of industrial action are typically taken?
  • How long does it take to initiate industrial action?
  • How do PABOs work?
  • How do you deal with the different types of industrial action?
  • Are there any key dates to avoid action taking place?

Closing out bargaining

  • When is too much bargaining enough bargaining?
  • What is happening elsewhere in the sector? Does it affect us??
  • Administrative salary rises – to pay or not to pay?
  • Where are we? How do we compare with our BATNA?
  • How do we get an agreement settled?
  • Are there any other items to offer – extra or “no/low-cost” items to offer?
  • Should we go to the people?
  • Exchange of letters for ex-Agreement matters?

Getting the enterprise agreement in place

  • Looking to the future and planning for the next Bargaining Agreement.


As with all AHEIA training programs, this workshop is designed to be interactive and uses a mix of facilitated discussion with practical small group activities and case studies designed to develop knowledge, skills, and confidence.

Who should attend?

Human Relations and Industrial Relations practitioners who are relatively new to the sector and/or new to an HR/IR role. This program also suits university management, executives, and legal teams who want a deeper understanding of enterprise bargaining.


Would you like to become an Enterprise Bargaining Specialist?

This workshop can be completed as part of our AHEIA Enterprise Bargaining Specialist Accreditation.


Are you looking for other Industrial Relations workshops?

You may be interested in the following AHEIA training programs:

Sarah Clarke - Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Sarah is an experienced partner in Corrs’ employment and labour team. She advises both public and private sector clients on the full spectrum of employment and labour-related matters.

She is an expert adviser on difficult issues related to people, including complex terminations of employment, workplace investigations related to all forms of misconduct and workplace disputes – whether on an individual or collective basis.

Read more about Sarah here

Jack de Flamingh - Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Jack is a highly experienced industrial relations lawyer, with top-tier clients in heavily unionised industries such as mining, manufacturing, construction and tertiary education.

He provides strategic industrial relations advice, develops workplace strategies and negotiates and interprets industrial instruments. Jack regularly appears before the Fair Work Commission and helps clients resolve collective and individual employee disputes.

Jack is an employment law author for the Law Society Journal NSW.

Read more about Jack here