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Partnership Council Training. Overview. The Five W’s of Partnership Councils What are the Roles? What are the Operating Guidelines? How is it Managed? How are Problems Solved? How is it Assessed? Mission. What.

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  • The Five W’s of Partnership Councils

  • What are the Roles?

  • What are the Operating Guidelines?

  • How is it Managed?

  • How are Problems Solved?

  • How is it Assessed?

  • Mission

Partnership council training

  • A voluntary, mutually developed process with an established structure for joint control, written ground rules, direct and representative participation, frequent and timely feedback, sharing of information and expertise, collaborative problem solving, & consensus decision making.

  • It is an additional dimension of the collective bargaining relationship which does not require either party to lose its identity or relinquish its role.

Partnership council training

  • Facilitate two-way communication between management and employees;

  • promote a joint understanding of the problem of the enterprise and the parties who make up the enterprise;

  • avenue of expression for employee complaints before they become grievances;

  • a means for employees to participate in organizational decision-making and use the skill and knowledge of employees.

Partnership council training

  • Regularly scheduled meetings for continuity;

  • frequency and duration based on the needs of individual situations;

  • consistent in starting and ending times (no gripe sessions);

  • only cancel scheduled meetings in an emergency (lack of commitment).


  • adequate meeting room (size, lighting, accessibility);

  • butcher block paper;

  • comfortable seating and a table;

  • free of distractions and interruptions.

Partnership council training

  • An equal number of management and labor;

  • balance having the right people with having a group small enough to permit informality and ease in reaching consensus;

  • everyone participates;

  • everyone is committed;

  • participants are responsible & capable people who are willing to make decisions & promote trust.


  • Co-chairs – Labor and Management

  • Facilitator- Designated or rotating?

  • Recorder – Member or other?

  • Timekeeper - Enforcer

  • Council members – participate & monitor


  • Equal parts labor and management

  • Co-chairs are the top management and union officials

  • Regular meetings – when, how long, cancellations, breaks, etc…

  • Room arrangements and seating – comfort, privacy, technology, etc…


  • Required to conduct business (make decisions)

  • Usually a minimum of 2/3 of labor and management members


  • Members are appointed based on their position (ATAG, COS, Union President, Union Vice-President)

  • Substitutes are only appropriate if the member is on a long-term absence and another individual has been appointed to act in their place


  • Co-chairs establish the agenda

  • Gate-keeping method is vital

  • Distributed to the group prior to the meeting

  • Purpose and objectives considered

    • Information, Dialogue or Decision?

    • Contentious issue requiring IBB?


  • Identify items, issues raised and end status (decisions, next steps, etc…)

  • May be driven by flip chart record

  • Verified by co-chairs

  • Distributed within 14 days (include LRO)


  • Ground Rules – How will we interact?

  • NATO – Nature, Agenda, Time, Outcome

  • Bin or Parking Lot - for important but not timely concerns

  • Issue Tracking (issue, start date, description, status)

Butcher block
Butcher Block

  • Used to Record the meeting

  • Communicate issues, options, agreements

  • Tool to keep the group on track

  • Provides a running narrative

  • Charge the board


  • People learn in different ways

  • Visuals combined with words are powerful

  • Separate Information

  • Colors can communicate emotion, status


  • Icebreakers

  • Exercises

  • Soliciting input

  • Asking for volunteers


  • Usually a one-way communication of facts, policy, regulation, tactics, techniques, procedures, etc…

  • May be simple or complex; may require a subject matter expert

  • If information surfaces a contentious issue, a decision on how to proceed must be made


  • Purpose is to build understanding, not debate

  • Set aside decision making during dialogue

  • Be open and suspend judgment of others

  • Speak from your own perspective

  • Listen with empathy

  • Look for common ground

  • Be aware of hidden assumptions (yours and others)

Interest based bargaining
Interest Based Bargaining

  • Six-step process

    • Select issue

    • Discuss interests

    • Establish standards

    • Generate options

    • Evaluate options

    • Develop solution

Interest based bargaining cont d
Interest Based Bargaining (Cont’d)

  • Partnership problem-solving method

  • Based on open communication and identification of common goals

  • Considers the feelings, needs, wants, fears of parties

  • Decisions are made by consensus of the group

  • Often difficult, but the quality of the solution is better

Measuring success
Measuring Success

Full Membership and training status

Membership Trained – LM Orientation Training, Facilitation (SQA)

Regular Meetings – [at minimum] Quarterly as per co-chairs with updates to track issues – Issue, Description, Date Started, Disposition (In Process, Completed, Cancelled, Level of Resolution)

Measuring success1
Measuring Success

Communications tools

Minutes distributed within 15 days

Partnership Webpage in development

Periodic self assessment – Subcommittee (members to be named)

  • Perception of effectiveness locally

  • Perception of effectiveness at other levels

  • Awareness of the L-M partnership processes by the workforce

Partnership mission
Partnership Mission

  • To transform labor-management relations from confrontation over rights to collaboration on achieving improved

    • Military Readiness,

    • Public Service, and

    • Individual Quality of Life

Partnership meetings
Partnership Meetings

  • Serve as a forum for labor-management collaboration on issues appropriate to that level

  • Providing information, dialogue for understanding, and consensus decision-making are potential objectives

  • Is this a meeting or a facilitated problem- solving?


  • The Five W’s of Partnership Councils

  • What are the Roles?

  • What are the Operating Guidelines?

  • How is it Managed?

  • How are Problems Solved?

  • How is it Assessed?

  • Mission