Management and labor union focused on mission and people

  • Published
  • By Col. Terrence A. Feehan
  • Nuclear Weapons Center
Last week the Nucleus printed a photograph of Francisco Smalls, American Federation of Government Employees Local 2263 president and me signing the new Labor/Management Partnership. Although the photograph was great, it failed to adequately portray the significance of the event.

This agreement is based on our shared interests to increase readiness, mission accomplishment and customer satisfaction, while taking into account the legitimate interests of both labor and management.

Senior leaders from Kirtland's largest organizations along with union representatives from those groups will form the Partnership Committee.

We'll meet at least quarterly, with our actions guided by these principles of mutual respect:
· Value for all members of Team Kirtland and AFGE local
· Identify and focus on common interests and shared problems.
· Share information freely and openly in the decision-making process, recognizing that informed employees and union involvement add value to the quality of a decision.
· Build mutual trust by treating each other as equals and appreciating management and the AFGE Local's distinct role and responsibility.
· Give priority to sustaining this agreement, recognizing that some conflict is inevitable and healthy, but secondary to our common interest.
· Foster the development of a nonadversarial atmosphere to enhance open discussion.

I'm a member of AFMC's command-wide Partnership Committee and I've seen the value of this process.

As we work through the challenges and benefits of the National Security Personnel System and various personnel drawdown initiatives, this forum will be critical to doing things right for both our Air Force and our people.

This committee will help ensure management decisions are fully vetted with the union prior to implementation so that the best decisions can be made the first time. Mr. Smalls and the Local 2263 have shown tremendous leadership in this initiative and I look forward to our continued positive relationship.