What can the private sector learn from the public sector when it comes to negotiating collective bargaining agreements?
Public sector unions have been much in the news in the last year. In this election year, public sector unions are a lightening-rod, polarizing issue. That’s too bad because the issues the nation faces as the economy crawls out of the Great Recession — in both the public and private sectors — cry out for cooperative collaborative approaches to the U.S. domestic economy, global competitiveness, good jobs, company profitability, retirement benefits, K-12 and higher educational systems.
Professors Bluestone and Kochan and others have in the last year focused much of their attention to the public sector both in national macro terms and in Massachusetts. They are now launching a state-wide Academy together with leaders from the state teachers’ unions, school committee association, superintendents’ association, and government officials aimed at promoting innovations in education policy and practices through collaborative labor management relations.
Many of their new approaches to innovation in labor-management relations have as their foundation lessons learned in the private sector from organizations ranging from Kaiser Permanente to Saturn to Southwest Airlines. These two national labor-relations authorities will bring to this Bloomberg BNA webinar examples of state-of-the-art negotiations, employee voice, and strategic planning and execution — that have supported pay raises tied to rising productivity, affordable health benefits and livable pensions and improvements in productivity, product quality and profitability.
In addition to Kaiser Permanente, Saturn, and Southwest, Professors Bluestone and Kochan will draw on other examples from industries ranging from autos, airlines, steel, communications and health care.
Whether your company has a union or not, today’s managers need to have a good understanding of high-performance work practices, collaborative- and interest-based bargaining, dispute-resolution procedures in their strategic management tool kits. When U.S. management and employees are fully engaged, no nation on earth can match us.
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Thomas A. Kochan, Barry Bluestone
Thomas A. Kochan
the George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management at MIT's Sloan School of Management and co-director of both the MIT Workplace Center and the Institute for Work and Employment Research.
Kochan's research focuses on the need to update America's work and employment policies, institutions, and practices to catch up with a changing workforce and economy. His recent work calls attention to the challenges facing working families in meeting their responsibilities at work, at home and in their communities. In his labor-management relations research he identifies what's needed to address America's critical problems in industries ranging from health care to airlines and manufacturing.
His newest book is entitled Restoring the American Dream: A Working Families' Agenda for America (2005). Kochan received his doctorate in industrial relations from the University of Wisconsin.
Since then he has served as a third-party mediator, fact finder, arbitrator, and as a consultant to a variety of government and private-sector organizations and labor-management groups. He was a consultant for one year to the Secretary of Labor in the Department of Labor’s Office of Policy Evaluation and Research.
Stearns Trustee Professor of Political Economy, the founding director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy, and the dean of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University in Boston.
The new public policy school has been designed to more closely link Northeastern with the broader community, focusing on many of the critical challenges facing the city, the region and the nation. The Dukakis Center is devoted to research and community action projects in housing, workforce development, local economic development, manufacturing and transportation.
Bluestone has written hundreds of scholarly articles and author/co-author of 11 books, including Negotiating the Future: A Labor Perspective on American Business and Growing Prosperity: The Battle for Growth with Equity in the 21st Century. He has been a policy adviser for local, state and national officials and representatives.
Bluestone is a native of Detroit who earned bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Michigan. His areas of specialization include political economy, public policy, labor economics and industrial relations.
Employment Policy Research Network
Both presenters are members of EPRN, a diverse group of 150 academic researchers from more than 50 universities in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom who share a deep interest and concern about the state of work and employment in the United States and around the world.