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Guild Community Spotlight: Paul McCarthy

Throughout the month of August, we’ll be learning about one of the key ingredients that makes Guild School special: our faculty! Check out the blog each week for interviews with instructors and inside information about their Fall Term courses.


Taught by Paul F. McCarthy, Principal, Collective Bargaining Associates – Consultants to Organized Labor


Main purpose of the class: To learn the fundamental components of collective bargaining and develop useful negotiation skill sets

Who should take it: People who are planning to go into negotiations or who are trying to build a more effective local union

Course style: Hands-on, highly interactive….and revealing


How did you come to teach negotiations classes?

I am a union educational specialist who has worked effectively as a labor organizer and collective bargaining negotiator since 1967. To be successful, an organizer must first learn to communicate, instruct, and lead. Having spent over 8500 hours at the bargaining table for numerous union clients, I have distilled what I learned from my mistakes, missteps, and successes into a unique and effective model of education and consultation.


What is the purpose of this class?

This class gives the participants the opportunity to experience what it is really like at the bargaining table; to learn what collective bargaining leadership is and what it is not; and to discover the importance of how to involve the union membership in the process. This is a master class experience taught by an expert.

This class is all about helping participants realize how to maximize their advantages and minimize their disadvantages and to create better odds for success for the local union and its members.


What is your favorite part of teaching this class?

I particularly enjoy watching the light bulb that goes off in someone’s head, and the enthusiasm with which they participate. I taught this class for the first time in 1981, and it has remained a crucial class since then, providing students with the ability to improve the lives of their union members while building personal leadership skills. A number of my students have gone on to become successful union leaders, some even becoming international presidents.


What would you tell students who are thinking about taking this class?

If you want to understand the true mechanics of collective bargaining negotiations, become an effective union leader, and understand the foundational skills that create successful union negotiations, then this class is for you.

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