Not having a bottom line.
As far as we can tell, the union negotiators in DWP Group (and so by implication the LU majority who support them) did not have a bottom line when talking to the department. That is they did not have a set of minimum demands that had to be met before they could consider recommending a deal.
Without a bottom line they had no compass by which to steer the negotiations, nothing to bargain over (if you want this, then we have to have that) and so nothing in reality to seriously demand from the department. They went into the talks hoping for the best and instead got the deal they did. DWP on the other hand know what they wanted and it would appear got all they wanted. They did have a bottom line.