Framework for Labor-Management committees in city bureaus
June 16, 2006
Every bureau is different. Within the parameters of citywide guiding principles, bureau LMCs should be free to develop their own structure, practices, and style.
n All bureaus will have an opportunity to be represented when guiding principles are established or changed.
n The framework will be endorsed by City Council.
n In bureaus with fewer than 12 represented employees, Labor and Management may choose to develop an alternative process for Labor-Management partnership.
n All bureaus and labor organizations will report their status to the citywide LMC in September 2006. All LMCs are expected to be in at least an organizational stage.
n In the future, each LMC will submit a status report to the citywide LMC at the beginning of the budget year.
All unions in a bureau will have the opportunity to be represented in an LMC.
n Individual unions may elect not to participate in an LMC.
n With agreement of all parties, specialized LMCs may be formed within a bureau for different unions, different divisions, and/or different bureaus within a larger office.
n If specialized LMCs are formed, a coordinating LMC will meet at least quarterly.
LMCs determine their own scope.
n LMCs generally focus on policies and procedures rather than individual cases.
n Disciplinary cases are beyond the scope of an LMC.
n An LMC should not encroach on mandatory subjects of bargaining nor adjust individual grievances.
n Some LMC decisions may require signatures of authorized representatives of the City and Labor.
n An LMC can make recommendations on any issue.
n Each LMC determines for itself the number, distribution, and terms of its membership, unless otherwise specified by contract.
n Labor representatives are appointed by their unions.
n All members must be empowered to make decisions, subject to appropriate consultation as needed.
n It is important for the commissioner-in-charge to be informed and engaged.
n BHR should be seen as a resource to LMCs. Other City and Labor resources may be of value to LMCs.
n Non-supervisory non-represented employees will not be members of LMCs.
n Upon the request of either party, an LMC will engage a neutral facilitator for a fixed time period.
n Startup LMCs are encouraged to use a facilitator to provide essential neutrality while relationships are forming.
– Facilitators will be jointly selected.
– OMF will create a panel of qualified facilitators and a process to fast-track hiring. LMCs will not be limited to facilitators on the panel.
Training in communication, decision-making, problem-solving, and Labor-Management collaboration.
n Each LMC determines its own training needs.
n Startup LMCs should provide training to all members.
n Ongoing LMCs are encouraged to provide periodic training to all members.
n It may be appropriate from time to time for Labor and/or Management to train members separately.
Costs of Operation.
n Certain LMC costs will be shared by Labor and Management.
– Neutral facilitation when agreed upon.
– Expenses related to training for the full LMC. Specialized training for either Labor or Management will be paid for by that party.
– In principle, shared costs should be divided equally. In reality, different unions and bureaus vary in their ability to pay. Agreeing to share cost without a strict percentage keeps the focus on commitment. Proportions will be determined by mutual agreement.
n Certain LMC costs will be borne by Management.
– Staff support.
– Time of Management and Labor members:
n LMC meetings.
n Time devoted to LMC business by co-chairs.
n Specific tasks assigned to subcommittees or individuals by the LMC.
n Caucuses conducted in conjunction with LMC meetings.
n Joint training on communication, decision-making, problem-solving, and Labor-Management collaboration.
n Training for Labor or Management members authorized by the full LMC.
n In practice, considerations of overtime, workload, and service delivery may require some adjustments by individual bureaus.
Labor and Management have distinctly different roles and responsibilities. Both share responsibility for making and supporting LMC decisions.
n Management must recognize that Labor’s decision-making authority requires a check-in with members.
n Labor must recognize that Management cannot act unilaterally, but needs to check in with other managers for input and to secure buy-in. This may include managers of other bureaus, especially in LMCs that contain labor organizations with multi-bureau bargaining units.
n After a decision is made, both Labor and Management members of the LMC are expected to hold to their agreements and support LMC decisions.
n For purposes of LMC business, all members will treat one another as peers.
n Relationships of mutual trust and respect depend on clear, shared expectations. It may be valuable for an LMC to adopt explicit ground rules for effective operations and respectful behavior among members. Ground rules might address matters like timeliness, speaking in turn, confidentiality (which is usually not assumed in LMCs), attributing views to individuals, visitors to meetings, and reopening settled issues.
n Every LMC should have clear rules for making difficult decisions. Experience clearly demonstrates that some form of consensus decision-making works best in Labor-Management Committees.
n Leadership is a shared responsibility.
– Leadership includes setting agendas, keeping discussions on task, staying focused on mission, managing relationships, and representing the interests of the LMC when issues arise outside of meetings.
– LMCs are strongly encouraged to designate Labor and Management co-chairs.
n Each LMC determines its own meeting schedule (at least once per quarter).
Effective, coordinated communication is essential to an LMC’s success. This is one of the greatest challenges to all LMCs and requires particular attention.
n Each LMC should thoughtfully determine how to communicate with workforce and managers, including content, frequency, and tools of communication.
n All independent communication by Labor or Management should adhere to a consistent message set by the LMC.
n LMC decisions should be documented in writing and shared with the bureau.
n When an LMC considers a decision that might affect other bureaus, it should consult with the citywide LMC, central administration, and/or citywide Labor leadership.
n No retaliation or discrimination will result from LMC participation.
n If an LMC discusses ideas to improve efficiency or increase productivity, it should provide that no represented employee will lose employment or suffer a reduction of pay as a result.
n It is understood that budget cuts or reorganizations may result in reductions in force. This prospect should not preclude LMC discussion, but it should be explicitly addressed at the outset.