2010 Labor Management Conference

Sixth Labor and Management Partnership Conference

Collective Bargaining

Across the globe, labor unions and management both share a vital interest and key role in resolving the economic challenges facing governments today. Yet pressure grows from both the public as well as the media to dismantle the traditional foundations on which union contracts have been built. Earlier this year, New Jersey’s Star Ledger kicked off a provocative six month editorial series attacking public worker salaries as “budget busters” and calling New Jersey’s collective bargaining system “broken”. “Let’s scrap the system and start from scratch,” the newspaper concluded.

On Friday December 10, SMLR's LEARN successfully hosted its Sixth Labor and Management Partnership Conference “Is Collective Bargaining Broken” at the Labor Education Center. Over 100 people attended the conference. A distinguished panel of LSER faculty and guest speakers from other universities and from the labor relations community discussed effectiveness of dispute resolution, workplace innovations achieved through collective bargaining, and the causes and consequences of privatization.

Lisa Schur chaired the panel on dispute resolution, with Jeff Keefe presenting his study “Is New Jersey's Police and Fire Interest Arbitration Process Broken and Should It Be Abolished?” with comments from Richard Loccke, the Counsel to the New Jersey AFL-CIO, and Matthew Watkins, Manager of South Brunswick Township. Charles Heckscher chaired the panel on innovations through collective bargaining, with Adrienne Eaton presenting her research on “Transforming Healthcare: Innovation through Collective Bargaining” and Saul Rubinstein presenting his case studies on ”Collaborative Approaches to Public School Reform.” Mildred Warner from Cornell University and Ellen Dannin from Penn State University discussed privatization and its causes and consequences to workers, government services, and democracy, nationally and internationally.