In this audio conference, seasoned negotiators will explain the principles of costing and will take you through the key elements of a workable model of costing and a variety of practical scenarios drawn from real-life experience at the bargaining table. Topics to be discussed include:
- Costing Wages: How are average wages calculated in a multi-tier wage structure? How do overtime and holiday work schedules affect average cost per employee per hour? What about other indirect costs associated with increases in payroll such as employer health tax and WSIB assessments? Can employers unilaterally adjust overtime and holiday work schedules based on business needs? What are the current trends and patterns in wage increases? In a period of low inflation is end-loading preferable to front-loading of wage hikes?
- Costing Benefits: How should the cost of benefits be determined? How are intangible benefits, like ongoing training, health and wellness programs, child-care facilities, gym, etc., calculated? In what areas are benefit costs rising? How can the cost of benefits be taken into account when negotiating other terms of the collective agreement, such as wage increases, so that both the employer and union are satisfied?
- Total Compensation: How is total compensation calculated? How are roll-up costs and other hidden costs factored into the calculation? What is the relevance of this figure? Should negotiations start by agreeing to a total compensation cost that the employer is willing to pay based on revenue and production forecasts?
- Strategic Considerations: How does the function of costing fit into the broader strategic approach to negotiations? How should negotiators factor workers’ subjective valuations of benefits into their costing strategy?
- Sectoral Considerations: How does the approach to costing differ between the public and the private sector? Will public sector “net zero” compensation policies impact the approach to costing?
- Using Technology: What are the advantages and disadvantages of using computer software in costing? What tools are available and which are recommended? What should be kept in mind when constructing costing spreadsheets?