I am the president of an employees association at a public agency. We are currently involved in the collective bargaining process with our employer. Both sides have submitted several contract proposals but none have been accepted. There has been innuendo that the employers next offer may not be as good as the previous ones. The employer had H.R. send an email to the employees indicating that negotiations are not required to move toward "center" in order to be in good faith.
A negotiation in good faith doesn't require moving to center. It is a give and take by both parties, rather than taking a hard line stance of "my way or the highway"
Depending on the circumstances, and whether any party has leverage in negotiations, it may be perfectly fine for a new offer to be "worse" than a previous.
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First, you should speak with your attorneys about this matter. If you don't have attorneys helping you, then you should hire some. Now, with that said, its not uncommon for one of the parties to go backwards in a negotiation when it seems like the negotiation is going nowhere. It's not the best tactic, but if one party thinks the other party is being unreasonable, then going backwards is a good signal that you are losing patience.
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