• Win - Win: A Case Study of Collaborative Structures Between Labor and Management

      Caldwell, Corrinne A.; Davis, James Earl, 1960-; Hochner, Arthur; Jordan, Will J.; Gross, Steven Jay (Temple University. Libraries, 2009)
      While society has begun its evolution from the industrial age to the information age, most teacher unions continue to pattern their behavior after the industrial model of unionism focusing almost exclusively on salary, benefits and working conditions. In some school systems, though, teacher unions and management are questioning the legitimacy of their adversarial relationships. They are beginning to abandon the belief in the separation of traditional labor and management roles, and replacing it with a collective operational model that offers promise for significant educational reform and improved employer-employee relations. This expanded scope of union activity is attempting to include non-traditional issues, such as teacher professional development, teacher quality, instructional delivery, student achievement standards and educational reform, as well as mechanisms that are highly flexible and reactive to immediate need (Koppich, 2005; Urbanski, 1998). The purpose of this case study was to uncover the events that led to formation of collaborative structures at each of the study sites, gain insight in the collaborative activity that is occurring, better understand the impact of collaboration on the collective bargaining process, and attempt to understand the various challenges to collaboration at each study site. Data collection for this case study relied heavily on intensive personal interviews. Study participants were selected from school systems that have strong collaborative relations between the district administration and the teachers' union. Care was given in the selection of diverse school systems and in different regions of the country. Contractual language from the negotiated agreement also provided additional supporting data. The convergence of this data resulted in a greater understanding on the formation and maintenance of collaborative structures. The results of this study exposed that there are, in fact, strong models of collaboration between labor representative groups and management. The work that is occurring in these school districts is significantly transforming labor relations and impacting student educational experience. Leaders for both management and labor have largely abandoned their traditional roles and relinquished power in favor of working more cooperatively for the betterment of all within the organization. At each site, many collaborative byproducts have emerged to address a plethora of identified needs and goals. The collaborative relationship has also impacted the collective bargaining process, as the parties attempt to more creatively address all issues that either party raises as a concern. Greater respect for the role of unions and management has also emerged, as participants began to realize that they shared more in common than previously thought. The participants in school systems with strong collaborative relations have also demonstrated that they are anxious to share their knowledge and experience with others, as evidence by their participation in informal networks like Teacher Union Reform Network (TURN), as well as with researchers interested in collaboration between labor and management.