By Jodi Collins
January 1999

So, what is Employee Involvement?

On page 45, Article XIX, Section 9 of our contract it's defined as the following: Recognizing the desire to improve the quality of work life for employees and enhance the effectiveness of the organization, the Company and the Union emphasize their mutual belief that Employee Involvement activities be initiated and sponsored jointly by the Company and the Union. The parties believe Employee Involvement is beneficial to all employees, and that these activities should continue with the objective of further growth. The purpose of such activity is to encourage greater employee participation in the conditions of the working environment, so that the jobs are made more satisfying and organizational performance and service quality are improved.

What are Employee Involvement initiatives? Here's some you may be aware of:

  • PTP Project Team Participation
  • SYMMEtrics - Winds of Change, Survey of Managerial Effectiveness, Data Analysis and Reinvention (2 day) workshops, Issue team (work on issues identified in the 2 day workshop)
  • Quality Circles (only remaining in Local 412)
  • Work Team Environment (formal or informal)
  • Member of the Employee Involvement Steering Committee

For the many of you that have participated in Employee Involvement initiatives, ask yourself DID THE PROCESS…

  • Improve the quality of work life?
  • Enhance the effectiveness of the organization?
  • Have joint support by the Company and the Union?
  • Benefit all employees?
  • Provide room for future activity growth?
  • Encourage greater employee participation in the conditions of the working environment, so that the jobs are made more satisfying and the organizational performance and service quality are improved?

As you review your own participation, look and see where the process went smoothly, what areas did breakdowns occur, and what was the cause. Look and see what can be learned.

The Employee Involvement Steering Committee is alive and meeting regularly. Here's what the contract defines as the objectives of the committee:
Encourage and assist Union officials and Company managers to understand, support, and implement the principles on which this agreement is based.

Recommend long-range plans and strategy for the introduction of Employee Involvement approaches and their integration into the policies, methods, and practices of existing and new organizations.
Review and analyze projects or activities which involve improving the quality of work environment; sponsoring research into factors related to improving performance and quality of work life. This will be done through presentations at quarterly meetings of the Steering Committee. The formal presentations will be the responsibility of the Employee Involvement Administrator.
Encourage all levels of union and management in recognizing that voluntary involvement is necessary for the success of joint efforts; and cooperating in the development, implementations, and growth of the Employee Involvement process in a spirit of mutuality and responsible leadership.
(e) In continuing their cooperation and support of Employee Involvement in a spirit of mutual trust and respect, the parties agree that organizational and technological innovations are necessary and desirable; that every individual has the ability to contribute to the objectives of the organization; and that work should satisfy personal needs for self-respect, dignity, and fulfillment as well as service and financial objectives.

Their are 6 members of the Employee Involvement Steering 3 management and 3 bargaining unit.

The Company Facilitator is Kathy Palermo. The Union Facilitator is Debbie Pfeffer

The union contract provides additional information regarding the Facilitator and Part-time Facilitator jobs on pages 46 and 47.

Per our current contract, my job as the Employee Involvement Administrator is a three-year term. Therefore, any of you interested in the position, you may want to brush up on the people skills you already have and continuously learn new ones. The Business Manager will appoint the Administrator subject to the approval of the Human Resources Executive or his representative.

Next month I'll let you know what the 1613 EI Steering Committee has been up to and what they've done for you lately.

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