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11 C H A P T E R 3 3.1 Survey Results The research team compiled and analyzed the survey responses in three dimensions: â¢ Summary by transit system and comparison of responses from management and union within a transit system, â¢ Summary and comparison of responses across transit sys- tems for overall pattern, and â¢ Examination of correlations between variables. This chapter presents important findings based on the analy- ses performed. LaborâManagement Relationship Rating Survey respondents from management and union were asked the question: âHow would you characterize the relationship between the management and the union in your system? Could you rate it on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being very cooperative, 3 being neutral, and 1 being very adversarial?â This rating is termed the LMR rating for convenience. It is an indicator of how the survey respondents perceive labor relations in their systems. Table 2 summarizes the responses the research team gath- ered for these questions. The responses from both manage- ment and labor are listed, as well as the average LMR rating. Please note that a geometric average is used, so a transit system will get a higher average rating if its management and labor ratings are relatively similar. One attribute of geometric aver- age is that the closer the observationsâ values, the higher the average, given the sum of the observations is the same. For example, if an ordinary arithmetic average is used, two ratings of 4, and one rating of 5, and one rating of 3 will end up with an average of 4; however, with a geometric average, two ratings of 4 will result in a higher average of 4, than one rating of 5 and one rating of 3, whose geometric average is 3.87. The transit systems are ranked by average rating in the table. The results show that union ratings tend to be higher than management ratings for transit systems with higher overall LMR ratings, while management ratings tend to be higher than union ratings for transit systems with lower overall LMR ratings. Issues Addressed by LaborâManagement Committees A list of issues that might be addressed by laborâmanagement committees was created by the research team. In the telephone survey, both management and union respondents were asked whether a given issue was addressed by a laborâmanagement committee. Table 3 shows how many of the 21 transit systems, where both management and union responded to the tele- phone survey, have laborâmanagement committees to address the issues. A summary of responses from 47 transit systems on issues addressed by laborâmanagement committees is presented in Appendix D; for some of the 47 transit systems, only manage- ment or union responded to the survey. The issues on which more than 10 respondents from man- agement or union identified a laborâmanagement committee are in boldface in Table 3. Such areas include â¢ Pension and deferred compensation governance â¢ Skill training, testing, and apprenticeship â¢ Preventable accidents â¢ Jointly administered health and welfare plan â¢ Violence and driver assault or workplace security â¢ Schedule preference The research team also observed a strong correlation between the number of issues addressed by laborâmanagement committees and the LMR ratings. The more issues addressed by laborâmanagement committees in a transit system, the higher its LMR rating tended to be. See Figure 1. Findings and Applications
12 Table 2. Laborâmanagement relationship rating. Transit System LMR Rang (Management) LMR Rang (Labor) LMR Rang (Geometric Average) System 1 5 5 5.00 System 2 4 5 4.47 System 3 4 5 4.47 System 4 4 4 4.00 System 5 5 3 3.87 System 6 5 3 3.87 System 7 3 4 3.46 System 8 3 4 3.46 System 9 3 4 3.46 System 10 4 3 3.46 System 11 4 3 3.46 System 12 3 3 3.00 System 13 4 2 2.83 System 14 4 2 2.83 System 15 2 4 2.83 System 16 3 2 2.45 System 17 3 2 2.45 System 18 3 2 2.45 System 19 4 1 2.00 System 20 1 1 1.00 System 21 1 1 1.00 Darker shading: Management Rang < Labor Rang Lighter shading: Management Rang > Labor Rang No shading: Management Rang = Labor Rang
13 Table 3. Number of transit systems with laborâmanagement committees covering the listed issues. (continued on next page)
14 Table 3. (Continued). Figure 1. Laborâmanagement relationship rating vs. number of issues addressed by laborâmanagement committees.
15 Another finding on laborâmanagement committees is that both management and union responses demonstrate that the two sides have different perceptions of whether an issue is addressed in a laborâmanagement committee. Table 4 sum- marizes this difference. According to the table, unions tend to think that more issues are addressed in laborâmanagement committees. In 14 out of 21 transit systems, union respondents identified more issues addressed in laborâmanagement committees than what management identified. The difference is drastic in some systems. Good Practices for LaborâManagement Partnerships In the telephone survey, respondents were asked to share any actions or practices that helped build a cooperative LMP in their transit systems. Some comments were made by both management and union respondents while other comments were made by either management or union respondents. Several practices were frequently raised by both manage- ment and union respondents. â¢ Communication. One of the most prominent practices was communication. Respondents described it as âbeing responsive,â âproactive communication,â âregular formal and informal meetings of both sides,â âengaging union leaders in discussions prior to issuing policies,â and so forth. Respondents believed that frequent and proactive communication was not only essential to problem identi- fication and resolution, but it also created transparency in the decision-making process and fostered trust between management and union. â¢ Professional Facilitator. Besides communication, some management and union respondents expressed the impor- tance of hiring a professional facilitator or mediator. Some also pointed out that crises and significant events may become catalysts for laborâmanagement cooperation (e.g., strike threats and tragic accidents). â¢ Separation from Collective Bargaining. Several man- agement respondents mentioned that an LMP must be a separate process from the collective bargaining process and that it should be based on structured process-improvement efforts. Some management respondents believed train- ing and educational opportunities with joint labor and management participation was a helpful practice to foster cooperation. â¢ Persistence. Some union respondents believed that the unionâs initiative and persistence was important. One union respondent pointed out that transit funding was a topic on which labor and management could work well together. Barriers to LaborâManagement Partnerships Immediately after the question on good practices, respon- dents were asked to identify what barriers to LMPs they had encountered. Many of the responses to this question mirror the responses to the question on good practices. Transit System No. of Commiees (management) No. of Commiees (union) System 1 7 9 System 2 3 10 System 3 3 5 System 4 11 8 System 5 8 7 System 6 4 8 System 7 9 10 System 8 5 13 System 9 1 7 System 10 3 6 System 11 5 3 System 12 8 7 System 13 6 4 System 14 2 1 System 15 3 5 System 16 3 6 System 17 5 8 System 18 3 6 System 19 6 4 System 20 1 2 System 21 4 5 Darker shading: Union reported more commi ees Lighter shading: Management reported more commi ees Table 4. Identification of issues addressed by laborâmanagement committees.
16 union members to mean that the union was being influenced or manipulated by the management. Several alternative terms were suggested: â¢ Laborâmanagement cooperation â¢ Laborâmanagement coordination â¢ Laborâmanagement goals Benefits of LaborâManagement Partnerships The research team asked each survey respondent what they thought their transit system could gain from improved laborâ management cooperation. There was apparent consensus for the following benefits: â¢ Better customer service â¢ Fewer grievances â¢ Higher morale â¢ Cost saving and more funding â¢ More effective problem solving and process improvement Additional findings from the survey results can be found in Appendix D. 3.2 Case Study Findings The research team deepened their understanding of how LMPs function in the transit industry through the case study interviews, which provided the most relevant and up-to- date information on the development of LMPs in the transit industry. When the case studies were conducted, the research team posed 14 premises to the interviewers for testing. The premises were factors and practices that the research team determined were critical to the success of LMPs based on their research and practical experience in transit labor relations. They are categorized into five groups according to the aspects of the partnership they are concerned with: â¢ Improve cultural environment for partnerships â¢ Prioritize best partnership objectives â¢ Advocate the partnership â¢ Build strength within the partnership â¢ Make the most of events Most of the 14 premises were confirmed by a majority of the six case studies. However, variations existed among the six transit systems. This was anticipated given the unique nature of each LMP within their varying contexts of labor relations. Table 5 is a brief summary of the testing results of each premise from the case studies. Most of the premises were veri- Lack of effective communication was identified as a prob- lem by most management and union respondents, along with lack of trust, transparency, and interest in cooperating. Other barriers frequently raised by both sides include: â¢ Turnover in management and union leadership and â¢ Inexperience and/or incapability of the leaders of the other side. Barriers frequently raised by management respondents only include: â¢ Union leaders do not honor mutually agreed decisions, â¢ Unionâs belief in an antagonistic culture, â¢ Complexity rising from union elections with internal rivalries and coalitions, and â¢ Lack of resources to maintain adequate or existing wage and benefits. Barriers frequently raised by union respondents only include: â¢ Low-level managers who do not believe in the grievance process, â¢ Managementâs fear of good laborâmanagement relation- ships, and â¢ Managementâs uncertainty and insecurity about their future and lack of foresight. Comments on the Term LaborâManagement Partnership Survey respondents were asked whether they viewed laborâ management partnership as a positive term. Most respon- dents, from both management and union, thought it was a positive term. Some respondents pointed out potential prob- lems with the term. One management respondent commented that âpart- nershipâ implied equal status in running the organization. Another management respondent echoed that opinion in a separate interview on the ground that because management and union bore different levels of risks and stakes in the rela- tionship, the cooperative relationship was not a partnership. One manager commented that the term âpartnershipâ was only suitable in the context of providing service to the public, but in traditional labor relations or collective bargaining, the unionâs job was to secure jobs and negotiate compensation and benefits. This point was echoed by a union respondent. On the union side, three respondents were skeptical for dif- ferent reasons. One believed it was a positive term only if the two parties had a good relationship; another believed that it is only positive when both parties are committed to the partner- ship; and a third worried that the term could be interpreted by
17 Table 5). The premise was emphasized to be a key success fac- tor by one of the six transit systems. In that system, the LMP program was designed and improved and has been operating on an ongoing basis with the active direction of an independent administrator who has skills and experiences peculiarly suited to a joint laborâmanagement endeavor. The administrator was an independent, neutral professional who had education and experience in labor mediation, organizational behavior and, specifically, in workplace development programs. The facilita- tor carried credibility with the agencies and political bodies that granted resources to the transit system and maintained strict fied by four or more case studies. Interviewees from at least three case studies confirmed that these practices were critical to the success of LMPs. Not all premises were clearly confirmed by the case studies. Premise 13 in Table 5 was confirmed by two case studies, but in one other case, it showed that the existing functional joint efforts did not spur further action toward laborâmanagement cooperation. The remaining three cases did not have findings regarding Premise 13. The most ambiguous premise was the one regarding the value of having an independent facilitator (Premise 11 in Premises of Successful LaborâManagement Partnerships Large Bus and Rail Operator Medium Bus and Rail Operator Large Bus and Rail Operator Medium Bus and Rail Operator Medium Bus Operator Large Bus and Rail Operator A. Improve the Cultural Environment for Partnership 1. Respect the individuals represen ng the other party. Confirmed Confirmed Confirmed No findings Confirmed Not confirmed 2. Design, implement, and sustain effec ve communica on. Confirmed Confirmed Confirmed Confirmed Confirmed Not confirmed B. Priorize the Best Partnership Objecves 3. Separate issues between integrave (or win-win) and distribuve (or zero-sum) ones. Confirmed Confirmed No findings Not confirmed Confirmed Confirmed C. Advocate the Partnership 4. Establish broad-based buy-in from all key stakeholders with formality and structure that is made clear to all. Confirmed Confirmed Confirmed No findings Confirmed Confirmed 5. Be confident that managers can cooperate with unions yet sll connue to defend prerogaves and efficiency. Confirmed No findings No findings No findings Confirmed Confirmed 6. Be confident that union leadersâ cooperaon with management will not compromise membersâ interests. Confirmed No findings No findings No findings Confirmed Confirmed D. Build Strength within the Partnership 7. Outline shared goals and expectaons of the partnership. Confirmed Confirmed Confirmed Confirmed Confirmed Confirmed 8. Align all necessary resources to support the partnership. Confirmed Confirmed No findings No findings No findings Confirmed 9. Require consistent accountability of everyone in the organizaon with a governing or execung responsibility for the partnership. Confirmed Confirmed Confirmed No findings Confirmed Not confirmed 10. Provide for comprehensive skill building for both union and management throughout the course of the partnership. Confirmed Confirmed No findings Not confirmed Confirmed Not confirmed 11. Provide an independent facilitator, if affordable. Not confirmed Confirmed No findings No findings Not confirmed Not confirmed E. Make the Most of Events 12. Support stability in union and management leadership and smooth laborâmanagement partnership leadership transions. Not confirmed Confirmed Confirmed Confirmed Confirmed Not confirmed 13. Take advantage of specific successes (e.g., pension fund governance, apprenceship) to build a broader partnership. No findings Confirmed No findings No findings Confirmed Not confirmed 14. Take advantage of shared challenges and crises to catalyze partnership agreements. Confirmed No findings No findings Confirmed Confirmed Confirmed Table 5. Case study findings on 14 premises of successful laborâmanagement partnerships.
18 suggested that LMPs can be regarded as separate channels from collective bargaining or the grievance process for man- agement and union to discuss and resolve issues. Another participant commented that communications should be consistent and transparent. Rating of Toolkit Elements Workshop participants were requested to rate the three Tool- kit elements, (i.e., the Charter Document, LaborâManagement Partnership Guidance, and LaborâManagement Partner- ship Workshop Framework). Table 6 shows the ratings by the participants. All three items received satisfactory ratings overall. The Charter Document was rated more effective. Participant H did not provide ratings. Ranking of LaborâManagement Partnership Guidelines The workshop participants were also requested to rank the 14 LMP guidelines by their effectiveness. Table 7 shows the rankings by the participants. An arithmetic average of the rankings was calculated for each guideline. Among the highest ranked guidelines are 1, 2, 4, and 7. Participants C and H did not provide rankings. Guideline 3 (separate issues between integrative and dis- tributive ones) provides an important take-awayâintegrative issues, or win-win issues, refer to those issues where manage- ment and union have common goals and interests whereas distributive issues, or zero-sum issues, are those issues where management and union have diverging interests. Several par- ticipants commented that this was an important and effective guideline. However, one participant continued to comment that some issues are not entirely integrative (e.g., bathroom breaks for operators). Another participant commented that Guidelines 5 and 6 was greatly dependent on the personalities at a given property. A comment on Guideline 8 indicated that resources com- mitted by one party affirmed to the other party the sincerity of the LMP initiative. neutrality between labor and management concerns. However, two other case studies reflected that their successful LMPs did not depend on any independent facilitator and the interview- ees in these two transit systems did not anticipate the need for such a role in the future. No findings regarding an independent facilitator were reported from the other three case studies. For detailed documentation of case study findings, please see the summaries in Appendix G. 3.3 Evaluation Workshop Eight management and union representatives from the transit industry participated in the evaluation workshop and provided valuable input on the draft Toolkit with their experi- ences in labor relations and cooperation. Overall Comments The workshop began with the participants introducing their own experiences with LMPs and overall comments on what makes them work and what makes them last. Several success factors were discussed in greater length. â¢ Strong leadership. Strong leadership on both sides was emphasized. One management participant indicated that union leaders needed to be regarded as strong leadership by management, so that managers could be confident that union leaders had credibility among union members and could effectively communicate with their members. Simi- lar comments were made about top managementâthat they need to be effective leaders in implementing agreed- upon solutions through middle and lower management. But this could be challenging for new managers who have just come into a transit system and want to make changes. â¢ Effective communication. Effective communication is another aspect that was discussed extensively. Effective communication between management and union should be built on respect for individuals on the other side. Dis- agreements are inevitable, but should be kept to the issues rather than undermining the relationship. One participant Participants A B C D E F G H Charter Document 2 5 1 2 1 2 1 LaborâManagement Partnership Guidance 1 5 1 3 1 2 1 LaborâManagement Partnership Workshop Framework 2 5 3 1 2 3 Score: 1 = very effective, 5 = not effective. Table 6. Evaluation workshop participantsâ rating of Toolkit elements.
19 14. Take advantage of shared challenges and crises to catalyze partnership agreements. 14 10 2 8 14 11 9.8 Low Guideline Participants A B C D E F G H Average Ranking 1. Respect the individuals representing the other party. 1 1 3 1 1 3 1.7 High 2. Design, implement, and sustain effective communication. 2 5 3 4 5 3 3.7 High 3. Separate issues between integrative (or win-win) and distributive (or zero-sum) ones. 5 12 2 14 6 2 6.8 Medium 4. Establish broad-based buy-in from all key stakeholders with formality and structure that is made clear to all. 3 6 5 13 2 1 5 High 5. Be confident that managers can cooperate with unions yet still continue to defend prerogatives and efficiency. 10 3 5 2 7 or 8 12 6.4 Medium 6. Be confident that union leadersâ cooperation with management will not compromise membersâ interests. 10 4 3 2 7 or 8 12 6.2 Medium 7. Outline shared goals and expectations of the partnership. 4 2 3 5 3 4 3.5 High 8. Align all necessary resources to support the partnership. 11 7 5 1 9 7 6.7 Medium 9. Require consistent accountability of everyone in the organization with a governing or executing responsibility for the partnership. 6 8 3 6 4 5 5.3 Medium 10. Provide for comprehensive skill building for both union and management throughout the course of the partnership. 12 11 10 7 11 10 10.2 Low 11. Provide an independent facilitator, if affordable. 8 14 3 3 10 6 7.3 Medium 12. Support stability in union and management leadership and smooth laborâmanagement partnership leadership transitions. 7 9 14 9 12 9 10 Low 13. Take advantage of specific successes (e.g., pension fund governance, apprenticeship) to build a broader 13 13 2 10 13 8 9.8 Low partnership. Score: 1 = most effective, 14 = least effective. Table 7. Evaluation workshop participantsâ ranking of laborâmanagement partnership guidelines.
20 Charter Document Our research shows that cooperation or partnership behav- ior contributes to the success of both management and labor. However, leadership turnover on both sides and other factors cause constant fluctuations in partnership actions and effec- tiveness. A mutual plan which focuses on joint activities can sustain and promote partnerships without compromising the critical and confrontational aspects of collective bargaining. The Charter Document is designed to guide and assist man- agement and union leaders to jointly formulate such a plan. Just as periodic amendments and ongoing administration of the collective bargaining agreement prompt the parties to use their advocacy and strategic skills, amendments and adminis- tration of a partnership plan reinforce, for both management and union, their mutual dependence and potential for joint accomplishment. If exercised with confidence and common sense, each sideâfrom union members to top officers and from street supervisors to the CEO and Board of Directorsâ can appreciate and come to depend upon the partnership behavior to move the transit operation forward. We encourage a partnership plan which can help to â¢ Focus both sides on the areas where they already cooperate to their mutual benefit, â¢ Diagnose partnership endeavors which are not as produc- tive as they should be, â¢ Reveal new areas of mutual benefit and interest where the parties can seek improvement together, and â¢ Diminish temporal fluctuations in cooperative behavior. By evaluating their relationship periodically, each side can gain strength which will give the partnership more staying power and make it institutionalâless dependent on the per- sonal tendencies of individual leaders or the particular issues of the moment. In order to make institutional progress, it is necessary for both parties to commit their plan to writing, if only to establish times and a descriptions of the actions they will take. However, the last thing any LMR needs is yet another forum to litigate or compel. We came upon the idea of a âCharterâ because it encom- passes, but does not by itself compel the partiesâ cooperative endeavors. If used as intended, the Charter should help to re-orient management and unionâs cooperative approach to workplace improvement and periodically bring them together for a re-examination or renewal of their partnership, with different challenges and different people involved. Our idea should be helpful to any LMR, whether their existing level of partnership is sparse or abundant. The Charter is intended as an umbrella, an aid. Full-bore activities, even those which are cooperative in genesis and func- Regarding Guideline 11, opinions differed among the work- shop participants just as in the case studies. Some participants believed it was an effective practice to have an independent facilitator while others were skeptical of the role an indepen- dent facilitator would play. 3.4 LaborâManagement Partnership Toolkit This study culminated in the development of the Toolkit, which is designed to assist management and union leaders in the transit industry who are interested in establishing LMPs in their transit systems. The Toolkit provides guidance for management and union leaders in all stages of LMPâfrom establishment, administration, expansion, to continuationâ through organizational changes. The Toolkit includes three key elements â¢ The Charter Document â¢ The LaborâManagement Partnership Guidance â¢ The LaborâManagement Partnership Workshop Framework We learned from the research that the type and vigor of actions undertaken by the partnership fluctuate widely over time because of the turnover of key personnel and other factors. Partnership skills can be promoted and fos- tered without diminishing the important aspects of collec- tive bargaining by devising a mutual plan which focuses on joint activities. For that purpose, we developed the Charter Document which enables the parties to identify, improve, and expand their cooperative programs in a more institu- tional fashion. This enables the programs to keep moving forward even when managers and union leaders change over time or other complicating factors undermine the existing cooperation. To provide continuous support after partnerships are established, we developed a list of guidelines for manage- ment and union, drawn from our research. The guidelines serve as a quick reference of best practices in establishing and sustaining LMPs, which help the parties promote coopera- tive programs. Finally, effective cooperation can be improved through training in particular skills, which pertain to group work and decision-making, and the employment of a skilled facilitator once the parties have acknowledged and committed to adopt the partnership on an ongoing basis. The last component of the Toolkit is a recommended framework for workshop devel- opers to create a cooperative workshop that prepares both management and union representatives with essential skills for establishing LMPs. An introduction to the key elements of the Toolkit follows.
21 to actively involve participants in a process that will encour- age retention of the skills they have learned and help transfer these skills to the real work environment. To achieve this, the workshop framework recommends the use of some widely recognized skill-development and training tools that have been broadly applied in the transit industry. These include â¢ ADDIE content model (Assess, Design, Develop, Imple- ment, Evaluate) â¢ Cause-and-effect diagram â¢ Flowcharting (process mapping) â¢ Brainstorming â¢ Nominal group technique To effectively employ these tools, the workshop framework is based on adult learning principles, which assume that adults are motivated to learn by needs and that their learning process is experience based. The objective of the workshop framework is to provide an effective behavioral blueprint that can be applied successfully in every type of group meeting associated with partnership projects. These might include meetings that seek initial agree- ment on the need for a partnership between an aspect of tran- sit operations and the local union leadership, or meetings that address ongoing issues and goals of existing transit partner- ships, or unilateral meetings held by either side that contribute to a partnership effort. The workshop framework focuses on building and main- taining the key skills necessary for working groups to mutually start and sustain LMPs. The exact form or shape of meetings will differ at every transit organization based on local custom and on the nature of the cooperative effort being undertaken. But the principles and problem-solving skills of the working group are applicable in all circumstances. Initially, it is recommended that, if cost allows, both sides agree to engage a neutral professional workshop developer to develop a workshop based on this framework in ways that are appropriate to the specific transit system. But both man- agement and labor members of LMPs will be able to apply the workshop framework effectively throughout the life of partner- ship projects. This workshop framework will â¢ Present a practical approach for building a results-oriented working group consisting of management and labor rep- resentatives, â¢ Enable management and labor leaders to effectively man- age interpersonal disagreements, and â¢ Identify simple but powerful problem solving tools in joint laborâmanagement workshops. tion, may require written, enforceable agreements of the type labor relations professionals understand. For example, where the parties determine to fund and operate a workforce training and manpower development project for certain scarce occupa- tions, which are to be in their mutual interest, that project itself should be depicted in a detailed and binding agreement, for the understanding and protection of all involved. Finally, a non-binding Charter is novel in the setting of col- lective bargaining, but we hope that it will be adopted widely in the transit industry. Collective bargaining with binding con- tracts is widespread in public transportation and accepted by workers, management, and political leaders. The tough negoti- ations and resulting binding collective bargaining agreements have, over time, come to provide both labor and management meaningful institutional security. This security should serve as a foundation to build a more effective, consistent, and long- range mode of doing business on both sides. Management and union can achieve that by finding mutual goals and common successes through this non-binding Charter; these successes can be as important and enduring as the deals management and union strike through tough negotiation. LaborâManagement Partnership Guidance This guidance is designed to assist management and union leaders who are interested in establishing LMPs in their tran- sit systems. It lists 14 guidelines, which largely evolved from the 14 premises verified in the case studies and proven to be constructive in the success and sustainability of LMPs in the transit industry. Each guideline has actions recommended for management and union leaders. The 14 guidelines are catego- rized into five groups according to the aspects of the partner- ship they concern: â¢ Improve the cultural environment for the partnership â¢ Prioritize the best partnership objectives â¢ Advocate the partnership â¢ Build strength within the partnership â¢ Make the most of events LaborâManagement Partnership Workshop Framework The professional experience of the project team, sup- ported by the case studies, clearly indicates that the success and sustainability of LMPs in the transit industry depend heavily on the use of relevant teaming, problem-solving, and decision-making skills by the leadership and key members on both sides of the partnership. This workshop framework is intended to be a guide for workshop developers. It is designed