What is it? - Not Collective Bargaining

Meet and Confer is not the same process as collective bargaining.  While the two are somewhat similar it is important to understand a few key differences.  The first difference is that the style of negotiations for most Meet and Confer arrangements is generally  more of a collaborative style, where Collective Bargaining is traditionally an adversarial style of negotiations.   Meet and Confer is intended for managers and workers to be upfront and work to gether on common solutions.

The next difference is that the end result of Meet and Confer negotiations  is an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding).  The result of Collective Bargaining is a contract otherwise known as a CBA (collective bargaining agreement)  there is a very important difference because  in  a contract dispute, the final authority on decision-making for a contract is a court or an arbitrator.  The final decision-maker  on all aspects of an MOU rests entirely with the local  elected officials and their decisions are FINAL.  This is probably the most important distinction because the people the public elected to represent them retain all local control and do not abdicate any authority whatsoever.   

A final difference is that in government, the purpose is to work for the common good and protect the public.  This is why with Meet and Confer strikes, lockouts and other means to interrupt services are strictly outlawed.   In private sector collective bargaining arrangements strikes and lockouts are a part of the game.  In public sector meet and confer job actions, which could in anyway interrupt service to the citizens are forbidden.