MTA Bargaining Certificate Program

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General Program Information

The MTA is committed to supporting the development of highly effective negotiators and organizers to win strong contracts for MTA members in PreK-12 and Higher Education. These efforts span successor negotiations and mid-term bargaining in various settings, including open/democratized bargaining. To meet this need, the MTA is offering a Bargaining Certificate program.

Bargaining units across the state are undergoing major transformations to build power and demand more for educators, students, and our communities. Local unions are enhancing traditional bargaining strategies, inviting more members into the process, running escalating contract campaigns, forming bargaining councils, and moving past “bread and butter” issues to Bargain for the Common Good. The Bargaining Certificate program is an excellent opportunity for members to prepare to lead in this vital work.

The MTA Bargaining Certificate will provide an opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge of beginner negotiators, while deepening and broadening the proficiency of seasoned negotiators in advanced bargaining issues. It will also inspire contract action teams with strategies and tactics that build bargaining power. With this certificate, negotiators and organizers will be better prepared for an increasingly complex bargaining environment.

Members will complete a specific set of courses taught by MTA Staff and members to earn the Bargaining Certificate. These workshops will be available throughout the year at our Summer Conference, Winter Union Skills, regional and local trainings, and other venues. All MTA members— ESPs, teachers, specialists, classified staff, faculty, and professional staff—are encouraged to participate, whether you’re an experienced negotiator or a member with no bargaining experience who wants to learn more.

The program consists of 24 hours of training distributed among the following topics.

Bargaining Foundations
Approximately six class hours offered in a one-day session or multiple workshops. Bargaining Foundations will cover:

Democratized Bargaining
Approximately six class hours offered in a one-day session or multiple workshops. Democratized Bargaining will cover:

Specialized Topics
This is a series of elective workshops (approximately three hours each) to explore issues in depth. Certificate candidates must take at least four such workshops, including but not limited to:

All of the Bargaining Certificate Program workshops will be interactive and provide opportunities for members to share their knowledge and experience with one another.


To participate in the MTA Bargaining Certificate Program, please complete a brief registration form. Once you register, you will receive an email with everything you need to know to complete the Bargaining Certificate requirements. Questions? Please email

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