Labor-Management Relations: Return to Collaboration

Source: Heather Eastlund, PA Times, February 22, 2013

Lately, the news has been riddled with stories about public unions and adversarial union and organizational leaders (called labor-management relationships). High-profile examples that you have likely seen include the Chicago teacher’s strike in September, the fall controversy over disbanding the Camden City Police Department to institute a county-wide police force and, most recently in December, Michigan passing a law to become the 24th state with a right-to-work law. In order to best serve public employees and citizens, public managers must recognize the benefits of developing collaborative labor-management relationships and actively work to foster them. The evidence points to the importance and benefit of fostering collaborative partnerships, which are summarized in four recommendations for promoting collaborative labor-management relationships.