Game Theory and Report Teachers Association

Ridgecrest School Dispute Initial Report Teachers’ Association 11/15/12 In order to maximize combined interests and reach the Pareto Efficient Frontier, our strategy is to build trust by sharing information about our interests and priorities. In addition, sharing information can help create a positive relationship with the Board of Education and can increase the chances that they will reciprocate that behavior by giving away information about their interests and priorities.

Given that many people are reluctant to share information with the other side, we also plan on asking the Board of Education many questions so that we can learn from what is not said as well as from what is said. Another strategy we will use to create value is to make multiple offers simultaneously because it helps to collect valuable information and it makes us appear more flexible. This is a particularly important strategy given that we can compromise on various issues if the other side is willing to offer us some concessions on other matters in return.

For instance, we would be willing to accept a formula in which any pay received for performing civic duty would be deducted from regular pay if the board is willing to meet our demands for salary acceptably (See planning document for what is acceptable). The cost-cutting strategy is useful in that it allows for one party to get what it wants while the other has the costs associated with its concession reduced or eliminated. This is a strategy we will use by proposing to the other side a budget that we have come up with that minimizes our concessions while still allowing them to get what they want (See attached Budget Proposal).

We have prepared this budget so that when the other side claims that there is no other way expenditures can be cut, we can show them an alternative solution. In addition, we also want to trade off differences in interests and priorities in order to create value. We plan on doing this by trading issues that are most important to us such as salary and workload for issues that are most important to the other side. We realize that this might be a problem if the interests that are most important to us are also most important to the other side.

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But, there might be issues that are significantly more important in terms of other issues to one side than they are to the other side. Finally, we plan on searching for post-settlement settlements in order to look for an agreement that is better for both sides. Once we have created the most possible value that can be created, we will use strategies to claim value. First, we will open aggressively given that initial positions act as anchors and affect the perception of what outcomes are possible. We will do this by asking for more than our target (See planning document for target).

For example, we will ask for a $7,000 increase in salaries for lower levels and reduce the pupil/teacher ratio to 13:1. We realize that the other side will not agree to this, but it will still be helpful as an anchor. Another strategy we will use to claim value is to give credible reasons for our interests whenever possible (See Issues Analysis for several reasons). For instance, the reason we want an increase in salaries is because we have not had any salary increases in years and our workday is longer than the NJ average (See attached for NJ average). If we do not have a credible reason for an interest, then we will use a pseudo reason.

In addition, we will know what interests we are willing and not willing to give concessions on (See planning document for concessions). This is important given that there are so many issues in this negotiation that we can compromise on if the other side is willing to give us something else in return. Finally, we are prepared to make smaller concessions to indicate that we are reaching our bottom line without revealing our bottom line. This is always an important strategy because we want a deal that is close to our target, but are willing to accept any deal that is at or above our bottom line.

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