Talking it Out on Labor-Management Committees

by Namita Waghray  |  February 19, 2016

Talking it Out on Labor-Management Committees Members of Council 72 who work in the Craft and Maintenance Department of the Missouri Department of Corrections have worked through a Labor-Management Committee to resolve issues. (Photo by Richard Leving)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Talking through issues on a labor-management committee has produced results for the Missouri Department of Corrections in the Craft and Maintenance Department, with significant agreements made on concerns raised by employees, say members of AFSCME Council 72.  

Besides addressing immediate concerns, members on the labor-management committee hope the process can re-energize efforts by both management and workers to find solutions through discussion and negotiation. The meeting last December was a big step forward, since the committee had not met for several years.

Key issues addressed included pay for on-call workers. Management agreed that workers asked to be on call should be compensated for that work, and that only members asked to be on call would be required to be available or respond.

Leaders of the local also raised the issue of management’s responsibility to understand, implement and uphold the contract, and management agreed to hold trainings for the wardens and supervisors to ensure that they are aware of their responsibilities under the agreement.

“I think this is an exciting step forward,” said Travis Case, a shopkeeper and member of the Labor-Management Committee. “We feel like our employer is finally willing to discuss with us in good faith.”

While there are many other issues that the union wants management to address, Case was pleased that the union had “made some gains,” and that the department has agreed to hold future meetings to deal with unresolved matters. “We just wanted to start – we had no idea our meeting would be successful,” he said.

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