Report Finds Labor-Management Cooperation Critical to Local Success

Article excerpt

A study of 50 public workplaces found that labor management cooperation and employee Participation in the public sector leads to dramatic improvements in quality, costs and delivery of service.

The report entitled "Working Together for Public Service," was issued by the Task Force on Excellence in State and Local Government Through Labor-Management Cooperation. The 14-member Task Force was co-chaired by Mayor Jerry Abrahamson of Louisville, Kentucky and former Governor Jun Florio of New Jersey.

The task force was unanimous in the view that public work places must change from traditional ways of doing business and move towards workplace cooperation, participation and quality improvement. Further, the task force believes that the public sector offers Significant opportunity--far more than is commonly believed--for employee participation and labor-management cooperation.

Secretary of Labor Robert Reich described his purpose in establishing the group, "When I formed the Task Force, I had in mind seeing in the public sector the excellence being achieved in high performance workplaces in the private sector. It is evident from these findings that employee involvement and labor management cooperation represent a high-potential strategy for meeting the demands on state and local government. I join the Task Force in challenging elected officials, union leaders, public employees and administrators to move towards models of workplace participation and cooperation."

In describing the findings Mayor Abrahamson said, "The private sector has found it can improve productivity and efficiency and cut costs by empowering employees on every level to work together to make improvements. …