In this class, there will be no in-class exams. Instead, a final project will be used to gauge your understanding of the negotiation principles learned during the class. This project will provide you with an opportunity to integrate the concepts you have learned from the readings, simulations and lectures, and to apply these theoretical ideas to a “real world” negotiation.
Sometime during the course, you must actually go out into the world and conduct a live negotiation. The substance of this negotiation may be anything of value: a major purchase, something related to a job or employment search, relations with peers or coworkers, etc.
The following rules apply for the live negotiation (and check with me if there is any doubt in mind—at all—about whether the negotiation you have chosen fits the criteria suitably):
· You must negotiate for something nontrivial (i.e., you should care how the negotiation turns out).
· The opponent(s) may not be another student in this class, the instructor, or other instructors at UW.
· The opponent(s) must not be aware either before or during the negotiation that it will be used to satisfy course requirements.
· You must articulate (privately, in writing) a pre-negotiation plan before the live negotiation, and, if necessary, adjust your plan during the negotiation.
· If possible, you should try to interview your opponent(s) or observer(s) about the negotiation after it is over. Of course it is fine if you cannot do this.
Your final paper on the live negotiation must be no longer than 10 double-spaced pages. Your paper should describe your reactions, perceptions, impressions, and significant insights gained from participant in (and reflection on) the negotiation. You should write about yourself and the behavior of your opponent(s).
Writing the paper should encourage you to engage in thoughtful analysis and understanding of the negotiation.
Final Paper Scoring Ru
Summary of Negotiation
An objective description of the actual events that occu
An analysis of events that occu
ed in the negotiation
Learning Outcomes for Future Negotiations
A discussion of what could or should have been done differently, and why
Integration of Class Concepts
Integration of readings, theory, and concepts as appropriate
A summary of self-evaluation of your own negotiation style, strengths and weaknesses
Total Points: 50
Example Paper from Last Year for reference on formatting and essay structure.
General Summary of the Negotiation
Washington State requires counties to adopt a “solid waste plan” that specifies how they will handle solid waste disposal. The plan must address several components, such as how solid waste will be collected, where the waste will be disposed, how recycling and public education programs will be conducted, and how hazardous wastes will be handled.
The Solid Waste Plan begins with how solid waste will be collected. Every city, town and county can decide whether it will have “mandatory pickup”, or whether citizens can “self-haul”. Mandatory pickup is intended to prevent people from stockpiling ga
age on their premises, and thereby creating public health, safety, and nuisance issues. Once the jurisdiction passes an ordinance for mandatory pickup, it can either contract with a commercial hauling company to pick up the solid waste, or it can create its own department to provide the service. Only two of the 14 jurisdictions within Spokane County (including the county) have mandatory pickup ordinances.
The second major issue is where to haul the solid waste. Commercial haulers, local solid waste departments, and private citizens transport their solid waste and recyclables to transfer stations. Siting these facilities is a difficult process because they: must be conveniently located; increase traffic flows in an area; store hazardous materials; and can produce odors. State law requires an “Essential Public Facilities Siting Process” that can take years, and typically are subject to numerous environmental and legal challenges.
The third major component of a plan is the disposal of the solid waste. Communities can dispose of solid waste in a local landfill (utilizing the same siting process as the transfer stations but encountering even greater opposition), transport their solid waste via truck or rail to large regional landfills in other counties or states, or pursue alternative methods of disposal, like incineration.
Jurisdictions located within each county can either “opt in” to the County’s plan, or they can draft their own plan. The plans are comprehensive, expensive to assemble, and implementation of the plan can be very complex. Because of these challenges, only one city in Washington (Seattle) has chosen to opt out of its County’s plan.
Spokane County’s cu
ent plan was adopted in 1988 and expires November 16, XXXXXXXXXXCounty Commissioners contracted with the City of Spokane (“City”) to administer the entire “regional” system. Because area landfills were approaching capacity, the region either needed to site a new landfill, or pursue another method of disposal. The decision was to pursue a “Waste to Energy” (WTE) plant, a facility designed to incinerate solid waste and produce energy. Only the City had the financial means to finance the project. In order to opt into the 1988 solid waste plan, all jurisdictions had to “pledge” their solid waste flows (known as “flow control” requirements) to the City so that the WTE could maximize operations, and produce enough energy to sell to power companies. The plan provided that the City would operate a “valley” transfer station, a “north” transfer station (known as Colbert), the WTE plant, and a small transfer station located at the WTE site. At the end of the agreement, all assets would become the property of the City.
Over the past several years, a number of the jurisdictions have become critical of the cu
ent agreement. Primarily, they believe that tipping fees – the fees paid to dispose of solid waste – have become too high. They point out that the $102 per ton charge is significantly higher than su
ounding counties where rates are closer to the $80-85 per ton range. They believe these rates are high because the WTE plant utilizes equipment that is at the end of its lifespan and is expensive to replace, and because energy companies are no longer willing to pay as much for the energy produced by the facility since they are mandated to utilize renewable energies (waste to energy technology is not cu
ently considered renewable energy). Additionally, since cities can impose a utility tax on ga
age and other utilities, other jurisdictions believe the City is balancing its budget by imposing a utility tax on the ga
age of nonresidents.
Some of the other jurisdictions are threatening to
eak away from the regional system, intending to either create their own systems or join with Spokane County to create a new regional system. The City has decided it no longer wants to operate the regional system, but intends to continue operating the WTE plant to meet its own needs and potentially offer it as a disposal method for other jurisdictions.
Spokane County has less flexibility than the other jurisdictions because it is required to have a system in place. Even under optimistic projections, meeting the 2014 deadline will be difficult. Spokane County can meet the deadline by contracting for solid waste collection and to have the waste long-hauled to a regional landfill. The transfer stations are another issue. It has three options. First, it could construct new facilities. It would have to go through the unpredictable Essential Public Facilities Siting Process - which puts the timeline at risk - and will cost approximately $20m. Funding for this option may be subject to a public vote – again, a very unpredictable outcome. The second option is to purchase the two cu
ent transfer stations outright from the City. The third option is for the City to ‘give’ Spokane County its two transfer stations for $10 each in exchange for a commitment to haul all solid waste flows to their WTE plant for 10 years (and pay a negotiated tipping fee).
Key Player and Key Issues
The primary players to this negotiation are Spokane County and the City. Spokane County is represented by the three elected County Commissioners – Shelly O’Quinn (the newest of commissioner elected last year), Al French (in his third year as a commissioner after 8 years as a city councilman, and someone wanting as much investment in his district as possible) and myself (with 9 years as a commissioner and 5 years as a state legislator). All three are separately elected and have differing views about which objectives are most important. For the City, two staff people are leading their side of the negotiation. Anything the city negotiators do must be approved by the mayor and the city council. While the city council is “non-partisan”, it is fundamentally divided along party issues and a one-vote philosophical majority just switched in the last election.
Other players interested in the negotiation consist primarily of the medium-sized jurisdictions and commercial haulers. A couple of the commercial haulers desire to operate their own transfer stations and do not want to be subject to a flow control requirement requiring them to haul to the government-owned facilities. The City of Spokane Valley, the second largest city in the county, desires to purchase only the Valley Transfer Station. They say it’s about controlling their own destiny, but ownership would allow them to tax anyone who uses that transfer station and create additional revenue for their city (the same criticism they levied against the City), and could block a regional system by eliminating from availability the transfer station that receives the most volume. The City of Cheney is also threatening to
eak away from the regional system because they would prefer a “cafeteria menu” of solid waste services where they could pick and choose which services they would do themselves, and which they would subscribe to the regional system.
The key issues for this negotiation were as follows:
1. The value of the two transfer stations (Valley Transfer Station and Colbert Transfer Station). Will the value be a set price or be based on total volume of waste going through each facility.
2. Mandatory use of the WTE plant for disposal for 10 years.
3. Continued use by County customers of the third transfer station located at the WTE site.
4. Package purchase – both transfer stations need to be included in any deal.
5. Early buy-out option for the County. Similar to an early payoff option for a home mortgage.
6. No early contract termination by the City to dispose of solid waste.
7. Environmental liability for any contamination at the transfer station sites while under City ownership.
Analysis of the Negotiation
The biggest challenge during this negotiation was keeping my negotiating team on the same page. Al’s goal was to