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1 S U M M A R Y Volume 2: Final Report of TCRP Report 181: LaborâManagement Partnerships for Public Transportation presents the research process and the findings of the research conducted for TCRP Project F-20, âLaborâManagement Partnerships: What Makes Them Work? What Makes Them Last?â The study of laborâmanagement partnerships (LMPs) consisted of four phases: â¢ Research initiation and definition â¢ Survey and initial product concepts â¢ Case studies and draft products â¢ Evaluation workshop and final products The research team completed all four phases and developed Volume 1: Toolkit of TCRP Report 181: LaborâManagement Partnerships for Public Transportation that contains the three major research products: â¢ The Charter Document â¢ The LaborâManagement Partnership Guidance â¢ The LaborâManagement Partnership Workshop Framework The Toolkit is designed to assist management and union leaders in the public transit indus- try who are interested in establishing LMPs in their transit systems. Please see the Toolkit, a stand-alone document and the principal research product of this study, for a detailed and complete report. The Final Report is dedicated to the research process and the findings. Throughout all four phases of the research, the research approach and the research teamâs experience included both management and labor perspectives. The research team was man- aged by AECOM, a professional services firm with research experience, and also included The Labor Bureau, Inc., an economics and law firm (who represent and advise employee unions), and Diversified Workforce Solutions, a human resources and labor relations firm (who advise primarily management). Phase I. Research Initiation and Definition Definition The major objective of this phase was to define an LMP. After reviewing literature on LMPs in transit and other industries, the research team came up with a definition for an LMP. Revisions were subsequently made to the definition in a conference call and in an Volume 2: Final Report
2interim meeting with the research panel members. The revisions are based on a combination of the panelâs input and an evolution of the teamâs collective understanding of LMPs in the transit industry as the research proceeded. The final definition is: A laborâmanagement partnership (LMP) arises when both the management and the union actively identify shared concerns and act on them collaboratively. This may be a formal process. This revised version takes into account the panelâs comments on (1) the potential con- troversies on whether LMPs should have decision-making authority and (2) the potential advantages of a written or formal process. Please refer to Chapter 2.1 for a detailed discussion on the definition of LMP and the considerations the research team put into the revisions. Indicators The research team developed a list of indicators for ascertaining successful LMPs. The indicators were later used to design the telephone survey and referenced in the design and interviews of the case studies. The indicators are grouped into the following six categories: â¢ LMP structure â¢ Frequency of consultation â¢ Side agreements and joint committees â¢ Union participation in joint committees â¢ Leadership and contract â¢ Conflicts and resolution The full list of indicators can be found in Appendix B. Based on the deepening of understanding of LMPs, the research team designed a survey instrument that was later used to collect data and opinions from labor and management representatives in the transit industry. The survey instrument consists of two parts: Part 1, a telephone survey, and Part 2, a follow-up data collection questionnaire. The full survey instrument can be found in Appendix C. Phase II. Survey and Initial Product Concepts The research team contacted management and union representatives from 102 transit systems, which operate rail service and/or more than 200 buses at peak service. Out of the 102 systems, 47 systems responded, including 31 management representatives and 39 union representatives who responded to the telephone survey and 15 management representatives and 22 union representatives who filled out the follow-up questionnaire. Survey responses were compiled and analyzed in three dimensions: â¢ Summary by transit system and comparison of responses from management and union within a system, â¢ Summary and comparison of responses across transit systems for overall pattern, and â¢ Examination of correlations between variables. Important findings based on the responses received are given below. It was found that management and union perceptions of laborâmanagement relation- ships (LMRs) are usually not consistent. Union officials tend to rate LMRs higher than managers in transit systems having higher overall LMR ratings; managers tend to rate LMRs
3 higher than union officials in transit systems having lower overall LMR ratings. In general, management is slightly more optimistic than unions about whether their LMRs are improv- ing or worsening. The survey asked respondents to identify issues that are addressed in a laborâmanagement committee or its equivalent in their transit system. The results show that the following issues are most commonly addressed in laborâmanagement committees, which is a sign that man- agers and union leaders tend to work well together on these issues: â¢ Jointly administered health and welfare plan â¢ Pension and deferred compensation governance â¢ Drug and alcohol abuse â¢ Preventable accidents â¢ Violence and driver assault or workplace security â¢ Schedule preference â¢ Skill training, testing, and apprenticeship â¢ Safety A strong correlation between the number of issues addressed by laborâmanagement committees and the LMR ratings was observed. The more issues that were addressed by laborâmanagement committees in a transit system, the better its management and union perceived its LMR to be. However, management and union differed in perceiving whether an issue was addressed in a laborâmanagement committee. Unions tended to think that more issues were addressed in laborâmanagement committees. For survey results, see Chapter 3.1. Toward the end of Phase II, initial concepts were developed for the Toolkit. An interim meeting was held at the end of Phase II, where the panel members met with the research team to provide comments on the progress and findings of the research, as well as advice on the remaining tasks, mainly the case studies and the development of the Toolkit. Phase III. Case Studies and Draft Products Six transit systems were selected by the research team and the panel members for more in-depth case studies. The selection was based largely on a set of predetermined criteria: â¢ Stated willingness of labor and management respondents to participate, â¢ Statistics indicating strong or lasting LMP, â¢ Qualitative evidence of strong or lasting LMP, â¢ At least two private contractors as management representatives, â¢ At least two transit systems with rail service, â¢ At least one but no more than two transit systems where collective bargaining is prohib- ited (meet-and-confer or similar arrangements), and â¢ A distribution among geographic regions. The six transit systems selected for the case studies are shown in Table S-1. The research team conducted on-site interviews with management and union leaders from these six transit systems. Major findings from the case studies are reflected in the Toolkit, especially in the LaborâManagement Partnership Guidance section, which is largely based on proven and effective techniques gathered from the case study interviews. Detailed summaries of each case study can be found in Appendix G.
4By the end of Phase III, the research team drafted the Toolkit with the three major research products (i.e., the Charter Document, LaborâManagement Partnership Guidance, and LaborâManagement Partnership Workshop Framework). The complete Toolkit is a stand- alone document. Phase IV. Evaluation Workshop and Final Products An evaluation workshop was conducted to test the Toolkit with management and union leaders in transit systems. The objective was to obtain feedback from industry leaders, both management and union, to improve the Toolkit and increase its utility as well as likelihood of acceptance. The workshop participants commented that the Toolkit was an effective tool overall. Workshop participants were requested to provide written feedback on and rate each of the Toolkit items. They were also asked to rank the guidelines in the LaborâManagement Partnership Guidance section based on their importance and usefulness. Table S-2 summarizes the evaluation workshop participantsâ rating of the elements in the Toolkit. Most participants were satisfied with the effectiveness of the Toolkit. The Charter Document (see Toolkit) was rated higher than the other elements. Table S-3 summarizes the rankings of the LMP guidelines. The ranking is based on the relative importance of each guideline to the participants. Guidelines 1, 2, 4, and 7 were ranked the highest. A detailed documentation of participantsâ ranking of the guidelines can be found in Chapter 3.3. The research team made revisions to the Toolkit based on the feedback they received in the workshop. System Name Principal Union Geography Rail Service A medium bus and rail operator ATU West coast Yes A medium bus and rail operator ATU Southeast Yes A large bus and rail operator ATU Mountain Yes A large bus and rail operator TWU Northeast Yes A large bus and rail operator ATU West coast Yes A medium bus operator ATU Northeast No Table S-1. Transit systems selected for case studies. Participants A B C D E F G Charter Document 2 5 1 2 1 2 1 LaborâManagement Partnership Guidance 1 5 1 3 1 2 1 LaborâManagement Partnership Workshop Framework Score: 1 = very effective, 5 = not effective. 2 5 3 1 2 3 Table S-2. Evaluation workshop participantsâ rating of Toolkit elements.
5 Guideline Ranking 1. Respect the individuals representing the other party. High 2. Design, implement, and sustain effective communication. High 3. Separate issues between integrative (or win-win) and distributive (or zero-sum) ones. Medium 4. Establish broad-based buy-in from all key stakeholders with formality and structure that is made clear to all. High 5. Be confident that managers can cooperate with unions yet still continue to defend prerogatives and efficiency. Medium 6. Be confident that union leadersâ cooperation with management will not compromise membersâ interests. Medium 7. Outline shared goals and expectations of the partnership. High 8. Align all necessary resources to support the partnership. Medium 9. Require consistent accountability of everyone in the organization with a governing or executing responsibility for the partnership. Medium 10. Provide for comprehensive skill building for both union and management throughout the course of the partnership. Low 11. Provide an independent facilitator, if affordable. Medium 12. Support stability in union and management leadership and smooth laborâmanagement partnership leadership transitions. Low 13. Take advantage of specific successes (e.g., pension fund governance, apprenticeship) to build a broader partnership. Low 14. Take advantage of shared challenges and crises to catalyze partnership agreements. Low Table S-3. Evaluation workshop participantsâ ranking of LMP guidelines.