Despite popular misconceptions, we know, or certainly should know, that conflict is not inherent in the bargaining relationship even in these difficult times. We know, that is, that the bargaining relationship, though it may emerge in response to conflict, can be and often is a means to resolve conflict. Diminishing resources do tend to reawaken and heighten conflict. Even so, when budget shortfalls are unavoidable, cooperative bargaining can seek and has frequently found ways to protect long term academic resources and core academic programs and personnel. In many instances, the parties in the collective bargaining relationship can also cooperate to win student, public and legislative support to minimize loss of revenue.

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