Collective Bargains: Rebuilding and Repairing Public Sector Labor Relations in Difficult Times

February 23, 2011

Wednesday, February 23 at 5:30 p.m.
Allison Dining Room, 5th floor Taubman Building, 15 Eliot Street

Thomas A. Kochan, George Maverick Bunker Professor of Management; Professor of Engineering Systems; and Co-director, Institute for Work and Employment Research at MIT Sloan School of Management

Commentary by

Jeffrey Mullan, Secretary and CEO, Massachusetts Department of Transportation

State Representative Martin J. Walsh, President, Boston Building Trades Council

Do heated disputes on such issues as drug testing for Boston’s firefighters, reducing the cost of providing health insurance for public employees, and changing the ways that teachers are paid suggest that we need to rethink, revisit, and revise the basic structure of public-sector labor relations? If so, how might public-sector unions, key officials, and civic leaders work together to find equitable and politically acceptable ways to make those changes? Drawing on his research and activities (which included helping resolve the disputes about the Boston firefighters contract and mediating the integration various workforces and unions at MassDOT), Professor Kochan will offer his thoughts on how to update policies and organizational practices in the public sector to bring them into closer alignment with changes in the nature of work, the workforce, and the economy that already have reshaped private-sector employment and unions.

Co-sponsored by the Taubman Center for State and Local Government