Queen's University IRC

Negotiation Skills

Developing Negotiating Styles and Tactics to Master the Dynamics of Collective Bargaining




If you are involved in collective bargaining, you know the complex and multi-layered dynamics at play. Whether you are at the table representing a business unit, government department, or union local, you know that the organization’s and the membership’s strategic interests and priorities are tied to how well you do at the bargaining table. How can you implement effective collective bargaining strategies that achieve needed changes and improvements effectively? What is changing in collective bargaining styles and approaches? What are today’s best practices at the table? These and other important issues are explored in our intensive five-day Negotiation Skills program, which features expert instruction, a full week of hands-on bargaining experience, and on-the-spot coaching.


Jul 10 - Jul 14, 2023 Toronto Old Mill Toronto Jul 06 $5,795
Oct 16 - Oct 20, 2023 Halifax The Prince George Hotel Oct 12 $5,795
Apr 14 - Apr 19, 2024 Kingston Holiday Inn Kingston-Waterfront Apr 11 $5,795
Jul 15 - Jul 19, 2024 Victoria Laurel Point Inn Jul 11 $5,795





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Our module-by-module overview introduces the topics that will be explored in depth over the course of the program.

Module 1: Overview of Collective Bargaining: The Importance and Value of Collective Bargaining in Society

  • Identify negotiation capabilities at the organizational, team and individual levels
  • Understand drivers of conflict at the table through the Circle of Conflict
  • Establish personal areas of focus for the training

Module 2: Exploring Bargaining Dynamics: Team-Based Bargaining Exercise

  • Investigate team decision-making
  • Reflect on the inter-dependence of the parties at the bargaining table
  • Explore the impact of actions and decisions on trust

Module 3: The Negotiation Roadmap: The Dynamics of Trust and the Bargaining Process

  • Explore the important dynamics of trust, and how to build trust in any circumstance
  • Review and begin to apply a step-by-step roadmap for the collective bargaining process, start to finish
  • Reflect on the full range of stakeholder relationships

Module 4: Planning and Preparation for Negotiation: Building Your Bargaining Team

  • Establish team roles, responsibilities, and protocols
  • Understand the dynamic of the Stairway – Interests, Rights and Power at the table
  • Learn the three main types of collective bargaining, and the implications for each
  • Practice foundational table skills
  • Build a full bargaining strategy by applying the Triangle of Satisfaction
  • Plan for effective pre-bargaining dialogue 
  • Identify and establish a clear mandate for the bargaining team

Module 5: An Introduction to Costing: Understanding Effective Use of Costing and How it Affects Negotiations

  • Explore the full range of costing concepts and definitions
  • Understand the application and strategic use of costing at the table
  • Recognize costing benefits and pitfalls

Module 6: Issue Analysis: Assessing and Analyzing the Issues Effectively on the Bargaining Team

  • Explore and apply a structured approach to assessing and analyzing both parties’ issues
  • Use issue analysis to influence and strengthen the team’s bargaining strategy

Module 7: Table Skills: Individual Skills and Tools for Face-to-Face Interactions at the Bargaining Table

  • Utilize listening as a dynamic skill for building trust and supporting effective discussions
  • Implement advanced questioning skills to explore and navigate impasse and anchored positions
  • Apply the L.E.A.P. process to create open dialogue on difficult issues

Module 8: Setting the Stage: Opening the Negotiation Process Effectively

  • Plan and Execute an Effective Opening Statement
  • Establish Joint Ground Rules and Rules of Engagement for the Negotiation Process

Module 9: Simulation Debrief: Reflecting On and Incorporating Learnings from the Bargaining Simulation 

  • Explore and crystalize individual, team, and all participant learnings from the full-day bargaining simulation
  • Learn best practices for implementing a collective agreement effectively

Module 10: Building the Learning Loop: Leveraging Each Round of Bargaining to Incorporate Best Practices for the Future

  • Implement critical debrief and learning processes to carry forward best bargaining practices


Gary furlong

Lead Facilitator

Deborah Cooper


Deborah Cooper


Al Loyst


Filomena Lofranco


Mike Lumb

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Gary Furlong

Gary Furlong has extensive experience in labour mediation, alternative dispute resolution, negotiation, and conflict resolution.  Gary is past president of the ADR Institute of Ontario, is a Chartered Mediator (C. Med.) and holds his Master of Laws (ADR) from Osgoode Hall Law School.  Gary is the author of The Conflict Resolution Toolbox, John Wiley and Sons, Second Edition 2020; the co-author of BrainFishing: A Practice Guide to Questioning Skills, FriesenPress 2018;and The Sports Playbook, Routledge, 2018.

Gary has worked with the Queen’s University School of Industrial Relations conducting research into employment models of dispute resolution in Canadian companies. He teaches a number of labour-related courses at Queen’s University IRC, along with advanced mediation skills at York University.

In the labour area, Gary mediates collective agreements, grievances and labour board complaints for sectors as diverse as school boards, public health care, utilities, and airlines across Canada. Gary has delivered collective bargaining negotiation skills training for both management and union bargaining teams, bringing a strong focus of effective and collaborative skills to the table. Gary specializes in leading joint bargaining training for intact negotiation teams just prior to negotiations, with a focus on helping parties maximize joint gains at the table. In addition, Gary also conducts relationship building interventions to strengthen day-to-day union-management effectiveness away from bargaining.

Gary has worked with a wide range of organizations in the private sector, in the public sector with municipalities, provincial governments and the federal government, and with unions including Unifor, Teamsters, CUPE, ONA, OPSEU, IATSE and PSAC.

Gary was awarded the McGowan Award of Excellence by the ADR Institute of Canada. He is a graduate of Stanford University in California.


Deborah Cooper

Deborah Cooper is currently the Executive Director of a federal union representing public service employees in multiple bargaining units across Canada, as well as being a facilitator and coach at Queen’s IRC since 2013.  She has been involved in all aspects of labour relations from the internal grievance process to adjudication, having appeared before numerous tribunals and courts. With respect to collective bargaining, she has bargained in various sectors including the federal public service, the private sector, and the non-profit environment. 

Prior to this role, Deborah worked in private practice as an employment and labour lawyer until 2005, moving over to work in-house at two different federal bargaining agents in 2005 and 2009.  From 2012-2013, she then worked on the employer side as a Director in the Labour Relations and Compensation Division of a large federal department. In 2013, she was appointed as General Secretary of the National Joint Council (NJC) of the Public Service of Canada. She was a union-side appointee to the position, having held the post from May 2013 – June 2018.  Among other things, the NJC also manages numerous directives agreed to by the parties, and incorporated into their collective agreements, on items ranging from travel and relocation to the health care plan and the long-term disability plan.

 After her tenure at the NJC, she worked at a large federal union as General Counsel and then from August 2019 until April 2022, she represented workers in the federally-regulated aviation industry as Director of Labour Relations and General Counsel. 

Deborah also lived and worked in various roles overseas in Paris, France for several years, including at the Canadian Embassy. She holds an Honours Bachelor Degree from the University of Ottawa, a Law Degree from the University of Western Ontario, as well as the Certificate in Labour Relations and Certificate in Advanced Human Resources from Queen’s University IRC. She has been a member of the Law Society of Ontario for over 25 years.

Al Loyst

Al Loyst was a member of the Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) for 45 years. This unprecedented tenure provided him with valuable insight into collective bargaining and the unionized landscape as it has adapted and transformed in Canada. As a result of the unique roles that Al held at General Motors (GM), he has been able to utilize his skills to play an integral role in assisting the membership in obtaining solid contracts and fair employment. Al’s lengthy career with GM has offered him the ability to see change through a variety of different positions such as “wellness coordinator” (with the transition of the truck plant, Al was instrumental in bargaining for a fitness centre), human-rights investigator and human-rights facilitator, service representative for the membership and team lead on a pilot project in a self-directed work group. Al retired in 2017, as the second longest serving GM employee in their history.

Al held elected positions (dating back to 1992) and worked tirelessly at the CAW to advocate on behalf of the members. Throughout his years of service, Al dealt with employee benefits, sick and accident E.I. compensation, and pensions. He took on roles such as strike coordinator (1997) and was an instrumental part of organizing a plant occupation, which led to a settlement and the sale of the plant to Peregrine Inc. Al was a member of many bargaining committees, one of which negotiated a transition agreement with GM and Peregrine. In 1998, he was elected district committee person and was later amongst the negotiating committee members that successfully negotiated the first collective agreement in 2000.

Throughout his career, Al has utilized both traditional and interest-focused bargaining and has seen the impact of both styles of bargaining and their long and short-term effects on organizational relationships and union/management interactions.

Al has been a long-standing trainer with the Queen’s IRC Negotiation Skills and Managing Unionized Environmentsprograms and has completed both his Organizational Development and Labour Relations Certificates through Queen’s IRC.

He undertakes training across the country and is called upon by union and management teams alike to share his experiences to enhance and shape union and management relations across a broad spectrum of workplaces in the private, public, government and not for profit sectors.

Filomena Lofranco

Filomena Lofranco is a consultant and executive coach with 25+ years of experience in human resource, finance, operations and leadership in the public sector. 

Filomena strives to share her knowledge and expertise in helping people make better decisions through the practice of conflict resolution and communication skills. 

Prior to consulting, Filomena worked at the Ontario Public Service Employees Union where she was elected to a wide variety of teams including Bargaining, Grievances, Health & Safety, Employee Assistance Programs, Benefits, and as a Pension Trustee. As the organization grew, she moved into a number of management roles which gained her first-hand knowledge about the importance of building relationships and the great value they have when challenging issues arise. 

Through her countless leadership roles, she has steered the planning and execution of various specialized programs and projects. She was instrumental in improving staff development and in driving successful results across a wide range of cross functional teams. 

She is passionate about promoting and inspiring workplace culture that supports physical, psychological and emotional well-being for all. 
She is also one of the standing coaches with Queen’s IRC labour relations programs.  

Filomena is a lifelong learner and continues to add to her education portfolio which includes an Executive Certificate in Conflict Management with the Faculty of Law at University of Windsor; Human Resources and the Labour Relations Certificates with Queen’s Industrial Relations Centre; Coaching Managers & Directors and a Management Certificate with the Schulich School of Business; Advance Trustee Management Standards Certification with International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans; Adult Education/Staff Training Certificate; and a Business Administration – Management Diploma with Seneca College. 

When Filomena is not coaching, training or learning herself she can be found traveling on one of her adventures or hosting Sunday night dinners with her family and friends. 

Mike Lumb

Mike was an Executive Staff Officer with the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO). His career spanned 32 years in the public education sector.
During this time, he served in a number of capacities which included: Educational Assistant, Occasional Teacher, Elementary Teacher, Health and Safety Rep., School Steward, Local Federation President (ETFO), Provincial Executive Member (ETFO), Ontario Teacher Federation Governor, along with his most recent position as an Executive Staff Officer in the Collective Bargaining Department with ETFO.

Labour relations and specifically collective bargaining have been a cornerstone of Mike’s career, due to his early involvement with the federation. He worked his way up from the grassroots as a Local School Steward and has held numerous positions along the way. From political protests to picket lines, he led his membership both locally and provincially through many labour controversies.

Mike has learned a variety of negotiating styles from positional based bargaining to interest-focused bargaining and how they affect the union-management relationship in the workplace. Most recently and due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Mike’s experience has expanded to included successful online bargaining strategies through a number of electronic platforms.

During his tenure as a union leader, Mike dealt with diverse labour relations issues such as membership concerns and grievance/arbitration to employee benefits. On more than one occasion, he has had to mobilize his membership for job action in various forms.

Mike’s education includes a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Carleton University in 1987 followed by a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University in 1993. He is also a graduate of the Queen’s Industrial Relations Centre Negotiations Skills Program. In addition, Mike spent two and half years travelling on an independent trip around the world and was the President of the Greater Kingston AAA Hockey Association. He lives in Kingston with his family.