Labor–Management Partnerships for Public Transportation Volume 1: Toolkit

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

economics - benefits, organisation - management, organisation - workforce planning


Charter Document, Labor–Management Partnership (LMP), Transit


The objective of the Toolkit is to help transit systems establish, improve, revive, or expand their LMPs. The Toolkit includes the following three key components: • The Charter Document • The Labor–Management Partnership Guidance • The Labor–Management Partnership Workshop Framework The LMP Charter Document serves as a starting point for management and union leaders to come together to recognize their existing partnership and plan for improvements, or to identify areas to start a partnership. The Charter is intended as an umbrella—an aid that helps to re-orient management and union’s cooperative approach to workplace improvement and to periodically bring them together for a re-examination or renewal of their partnership with different challenges and different people involved. More tangible and immediate results, including those which are cooperative in genesis, may require written, enforceable agreements of the type labor relations professionals understand. For example, when the parties determine to fund and operate a workforce training and manpower development project for certain scarce occupations, which are in their mutual interest, the project should be depicted in a detailed and binding agreement for the understanding and protection of all involved.

However, this Charter is non-binding in nature—something that is novel in the setting of collective bargaining. While the Charter may be adopted widely in the transit industry, management and the union may modify the final paragraph of the draft to make it binding if that is mutually desired. Collective bargaining with binding contracts is widespread in public transportation and accepted by workers, management, and political leaders. The tough negotiations and resulting binding collective bargaining agreements have, over time, come to provide both labor and management meaningful institutional security. This security should serve as a foundation to build a more effective, consistent, and long-range mode of doing business on both sides. Management and union can achieve that by finding mutual goals and achieving common successes through this non-binding Charter; these successes can be as important and enduring as the deals management and union strike through tough negotiation.

The Labor–Management Partnership Guidance provides a practical reference with specific recommended actions for both management and union leaders. It lists 14 guidelines that have proven to be constructive in the success and sustainability of LMPs in the transit industry. The 14 guidelines are categorized into five groups.

The Labor–Management Partnership Workshop Framework has practical training techniques for LMP workshop developers. It recommends a framework for workshop developers to develop a cooperative workshop that prepares management and union representatives with essential skills for establishing LMPs. It emphasizes consensus and relationship building as well as the adult learning nature of LMP training. Effective cooperation can be achieved through training in particular skills, which pertain to group work and decision-making, and the employing of a skilled facilitator once the parties have acknowledged and committed to adopting the partnership on an ongoing basis.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them.