First Formal Proposal

Once you have completed your research, including drafting both the cost out spreadsheet and the comparables spreadsheet, you are ready to begin planning and creating your first proposal. In order to do this effectively, you must understand the information you’ve collected and how it relates to your proposed agreements. Preparation is very important at this stage in the process.

You will need to discuss with your side and decide what your target goals are for the final contract. You will show your target goals to your professor but not the other side. To think of the target in another way think of buying a house with a friend. The two of you have decided on how high you are prepared to go to purchase the house. This is your target goal. Yet you would not tell the home owners at your first meeting the absolute highest amount that you were willing to pay for the house. Nor would the sellers tell you their bottom line or lowest selling price.


TIP: Typically in bargaining between a union and an employer, the union’s First Formal Proposal requests more in wages, pension benefits, etc. The employer’s proposal will ask that the employees take less in wages, pensions, etc. (concessions or give-backs).

Status Sheet


Eventually, you will have to decide on what you want to include in your First Proposal to the other side. Click on this link to see an example of a first proposal.


The first formal proposal for items that cost money for items that cost money should include a two (2) page spread sheet:

  • The first page is the current year (CY) Total Labor Costs.

  • The second page is your first proposal for the new one-year CBA (contract).


The First Formal Proposal does NOT include your target goals.

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