Benefits of Labor-Management Collaboration

Veronica (Labor Co-Chair):
Some of the benefits of having a labor-management committee in
the workplace include being able to have open and
frank discussions. Kathleen (Management
Co-Chair): Labor and management collaborating together is a
huge benefit to the agency. Matthew (Management Co-Chair):
It’s not only possible we do cooperate together
in labor-management. Kathleen (Labor Co-Chair): It
gives you an opportunity to have dialogue between management
and between the union, and that’s very important. Kathleen (Management Co-Chair):
Since we formed the committee, the communication
lines are open, very open. Veronica (Labor Co-Chair):
Rather than having our separate issues- labor issues, or
management issues, we can come together as a team. Matthew (Management Co-Chair):
Any time you’re doing some any sort of program administration
or implementing a program, you want to have
a feedback loop. You get that feedback
in labor-management. Roderic (Management Co-Chair):
To solve problems that are existing at the work level, you
need to have the input and the support of the people
actually doing the work. Jane (Labor Co-Chair): A lot of
times, management doesn’t know what’s going on within the
rank and file, or within each individual department, as vice
versa, where a lot of times, the union employees don’t realize
what stance or what’s really going on in the management, or
the obstacles they have to come up against. Matthew (Management Co-Chair):
Also provides us an opportunity maybe to better explain to the
representatives you know the reasons why we’re
doing certain things. That’s not always apparent. Paul (Management Co-Chair):
By working together, and the employees seeing that we’re
working together, there’s a greater sense of trust and
confidence you know that we are in this together. Phil: Working together works. Plain and simple. Laura: Although there may be a
longstanding perception that “labor proposes and
management disposes…” Phil: …successful
collaborators today know that a mutual partnership delivers more
effective results for both labor and management. Laura: Experienced managers
recognize that the best ideas often come from the people
who are closest to the work. Phil: …and strong union
leaders know that working on concerns and new ideas increases
employee satisfaction. Laura: Labor-management
committees provide an opportunity for
mutual understanding. They are made up of a group of
leaders from both sides, who have agreed to come together
to discuss workplace issues and generate new ideas. Labor-management committee
meetings give managers a forum in which to share the agency’s
direction, priority and goals… Phil: …while allowing union
members to voice concerns about operations, safety,
and quality of life. Laura: When representatives
from both management and labor cooperate, the result
is an empowered, more satisfied workforce. Phil: Sound too good to be true? Rest assured that even if
relations in your workforce feel strained now, there are tools
and techniques you can apply to improve your collaborations
and successfully address what we call “matters of
mutual concern.” Laura: Effective
labor-management collaboration requires two basic elements:
Structure and Relationships. Phil: All of the content covered
in this series is designed around these two categories. Laura: Structure ensures that
there is a consistent framework for productive
discussions to take place. Strong relationships
keep those discussions positive and solution focused. Laura: These video modules
will help you build and maintain proficiency in both areas. Phil: Use this series in the
way that makes the most sense for your committee. The modules could be viewed as
pre-work to live training, a refresher of key learning
points after training. You can view the entire
collection from start to finish, or watch individual
content areas as the need arises. Laura: We’ll be your
hosts throughout this series. Phil: We’ll guide you through
the content areas, provide tips for best practices… Laura: … and take you
through some demonstrations of successful… Phil: …and not
so successful… Laura: …labor-management
committees in action. Phil: So we’ve told you a little
bit about how labor-management committees can
benefit your workplace. Laura: But you don’t just
have to take our word for it. There are plenty of other
members of successful committees out there who agree. Charles (Labor Co-Chair): I
couldn’t see a workplace that would function with
any kind of normality without labor-management. Roderic (Management Co-Chair):
When I first became a manager, I had a workplace
that did not have a labor-management committee. And I know exactly what it was
like, there was all kinds of issues with grievances and
disciplines, and no one knew what the rules were,
or the rules changed, depending on who you talked to. Kathleen (Labor-Co-Chair):
I think that’s why the labor-management committees were
created, because you had to have some consistency. Paul (Management
Co-Chair): I consider that the labor-management committee
meetings are a forum for ideas. We’ve been able to develop those
ideas, and have an end product that’s really worthwhile. Matthew (Management Co-chair):
What we’ve done is, through labor-management, enter into
pilot agreements and pilot programs that provide for
part-time employees to basically receive pro-rated benefits. Kathleen (Labor Co-Chair):
One of the things that we accomplished as a committee was
a special driving course for the direct care people. It taught people a special
technique on how to drive with the disabled in the van,
during all types of weather – and we’ve had less accidents. Charles (Labor Co-Chair): I
work for a division called Fleet Administration, and we were able
to, through the labor-management program get all of our mechanics
certified by New York State in the air conditioning
repair area. And that allowed us to do more
work in-house, provide a better service to our customers in a
more timely fashion, and keep work inside instead
of contracting out. Jacquelyn (Labor Co-Chair): If
the people are in an environment where it’s a happy,
healthy work environment, then they’re productive. That goes a long way. Paul (Management Co-Chair):
Once you have successes, and the employees see that, “You know, I
had a complaint about you know, the lighting in the back parking
lot and wow, they were out there, taking care of
that you know on Thursday.” So they see that it’s not just
words, it’s not just you know a good feeling, that things
actually are accomplished.