The articles below provide a representative sample of Restructuring Associates Inc.'s philosophy, methodology, client work and results:

Public Sector Needs Bolder Change Management - Expert, Allison, Caleb. "The National Business Review," 8 June 2012.

Building a Collaborative Enterprise - Kaiser Permanente Adler, Paul, Charles Hecksher, and Laurence Prusak. Harvard Business Review, Summer 2011.

Moving from Interest-Based to Results-Focused Bargaining, Stepp, John R. and Bergel, Gary I., Perspectives on Work, Winter 2008, Reprinted with permission of the Labor and Employment Relations Association.

Utilities Industry Council Weighing Effects of a Major Legal Change, Rayburn, Stephen A., Perspectives on Work, Winter 2008, Reprinted with permission of the Labor and Employment Relations Association.

Contact Center of the Future: Employee Empowerment Key to Customer Satisfaction, IBEW Local 1245 News, Posted November 9, 2007.

On Labor Day, Labor, management working together, Thode, Mary Ann “ San Francisco Chronicle

Exploring Ways to Improve Labor-Management Relations and Collective Bargaining, Reprinted by permission of Industrial Relations Counselors, Inc., IR Concepts Summer 2007.

Interest-Based Negotiations in a Transformed Labor-Management Setting, Nils O. Fonstad, Robert B. McKersie, and Susan C. Eaton, "Negotiation Journal" January 2004. Click here for the full article.

Kaiser Permanente: Using Interest-Based Negotiations to Craft a New Collective Bargaining Agreement, Robert B. McKersie, Susan C.  Eaton and Thomas A. Kochan, "Negotiation Journal" January 2004. Click here for the full article.

The Shadow Negotiation and the Interest-Based Approach at Kaiser Permanente, Deborah M. Koln, "Negotiation Journal"
January 2004. Click here for the full article.

Case Studies
The case studies below provide a representative sample of Restructuring Associates Inc.'s client work and results in different settings.

New Zealand Public Service  
RAI's work with New Zealand public sector unions and organizations has helped drive the implementation of high-performance organizations across the country. By focusing on the partnership between employers and employees, engaging workers in making organizational decisions, New Zealand organizations are starting to realize the exponential rewards of establishing a high-performance organization. Click here for the full article.
The Kaiser Permanente Labor-Management Partnership, 2000-2005  

This case study, prepared by MIT scholars Thomas A. Kochan, Susan C. Eaton and Robert B. McKersie and published by MIT, analyzes the evolution of the labor-management partnership at Kaiser Permanente from its inception in 1997 to June 2002 and identifies critical issues and challenges the parties face in moving forward. Highlighted in this case study is an analysis of the interest-based bargaining process used to negotiate the 2000-2005 national labor agreement.

This case, the, first in a series of three, will be followed by two forthcoming studies on subsequent phases of the project. Click here for the full case study.

Kaiser Optical Services  

Faced with closing an optical lab in Berkeley, CA, SEIU 535 employees and management members of Kaiser Optical Services engaged in interest-based negotiations (IBN) in August and September of 1998 to decide whether, and perhaps how, to keep the lab open. Armed with one and a half days of IBN training the parties sat down together and over a cumulative seven days of negotiating generated about 265 cost-saving options. Using jointly agreed-upon criteria, they sorted the options and developed solutions, selecting the most promising for implementation. As a result, it was agreed to keep the Berkeley Lab open, and to work jointly to (1) implement production standards and incentives (2) implement a labor-management partnership to jointly manage the optical division (3) implement other cost saving/revenue generating options identified as promising and (4) implement flexibility measures that had been identified as promising, such as expanding the Utility Worker classification.

Today the lab is a model of labor-management partnership and a high-performing organization in its own right. Click here to read the full case study.
Hunt- Wesson Memphis Refinery  

Hunt-Wesson Memphis together with the United Food and Commercial Workers restructured their relationship and their organization. This case, their application for the Tennessee Labor Commissioner's Award for Excellence in 1994 and an update from 1997, describe the key features of their organization design, the journey they took to reach it, and the specific performance improvements they realized.

U.S. Department of Energy Mound Facility A Public Sector Case Study  

The Department of Energy, contract management of the Mound facility and the two on-site unions, PACE (Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy) and UPOWA (United Protection of Workers Association), partnered to clean up and shut down this former nuclear weapons plant. The case describes the process of partnering at Mound, which resulted in significant acceleration of the shutdown timeline, with a potential cost savings in the tens of millions of dollars.

New York League of Voluntary Hospitals  

This case study describes the process used by the New York League of Voluntary Hospitals and SEIU 1199 to reach long-sought yet rarely achieved goal of mutually agreed upon nurse/patient staffing guidelines.

General Mills Manufacturing  

This Harvard Business School case study outlines RAI's work with General Mills and its union. RAI was initially asked to lead a joint company and union (American Federation of Grain Millers, now Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union) strategic planning process. The joint committee led by RAI conducted comprehensive research into the future of the food industry, technologies, the marketplace, and organizations. It developed a comprehensive description of the characteristics and capabilities that production organizations would need in order to be successful in the future. This project led to another joint task force to determine the future of the West Coast production operations over the following ten years. The conclusions included the addition of various new technologies and products, and the development of high performance organizations and new systems of work in the production units.

RAI then led a joint union-company design and implementation process to develop self-managing, team-based, multi-skilled organizations in two major new production units constructed at the existing West Coast facility. The operations have pay-for-skills and performance-based pay plans. Subsequently, RAI led similar joint union - company design processes to develop similar high performance organizations and new work systems in two facilities in the Midwest. The company publicly states that it has achieved 30 to 40 percent improvement in operating performance resulting from these efforts

For a copy of this case study, please contact Harvard Business School Publishing Customer Service Department at 617-783-7600, and ask to purchase a copy of number 9-587-111, "General Mills: Manufacturing Year 2000 Task Force", or contact us, and we will be happy to help you obtain a copy.

Harvard University

From 2000 to 2005, RAI consulted to Harvard University and the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers (HUCTW), leading collaborative efforts to redesign work organization and business processes throughout the university.   In these RAI-managed projects, joint labor and management teams validated customer requirements, analyzed business processes, and learned about staff needs, then redesigned both the work and the processes to enhance the commitment, involvement and performance of the workforce through proven design elements that typically include participation in decision-making, team-based work organization, an emphasis on skills training, and alternative pay systems.

Schools in 2020  
Schneider Australia consulted the State Education Department of Victoria and Australian Labor to conduct Schools in 2020, a study that will focus on modernizing the education system. The study will help the parties evaluate what schools would look like in 2020 without any changes to the system, the desired future for the education system in 2020 and “the gap in between” – what needs to happen to get to the desired state. Australian Education Union Victorian president Mary Bluett welcomed the 2020 study, predicting a huge overhaul in the way children are taught and stating that the rapid growth of technology and changing needs of families could spell the end of the traditional classroom. Click here for two articles on the study, originally published in the September 30, 2005 issues of the Herald Sun and The Age Newspaper.  
Kaiser Permanente Ohio Region  

Faced with a swiftly declining market, the Kaiser Permanente Ohio Region, a fully integrated healthcare delivery system, required a rapid turnaround to survive.  The Kaiser Permanente Foundation Health Plan, the Ohio Permanente Medical Group, the national director of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions (CKPU), and the local President of the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) decided that labor, management and physicians would jointly redesign the healthcare system.  Click here for the full article, "Turning around Kaiser Permanente Ohio through Labor-Management-Physician Partnership," by Susan Mlot, published in the Summer 2005 issue of Perspectives on Work.


According to labor and management officials surveyed by the Bureau of National Affairs, rising health care benefit costs are the leading cost challenge facing employers in the United States, and such costs are likely to remain the most problematic issue in collective bargaining negotiations for the foreseeable future.  In early 2004, Cinergy Corp., an electric and gas utility, was confronted with this problem in negotiations with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1347, which represented the electrical workers in Ohio.  The company and union chose an innovative approach and the result benefited everyone involved. Click here for the full article, "Tackling the Cost of Health Care Benefits: Cinergy and the IBEW," by RAI President and CEO, Dr. Thomas J. Schneider, published in the Summer 2005 issue of Perspectives on Work.

Kaiser Permanente 2005 National Bargaining Process

RAI helped Kaiser Permanente, the Permanente Medical Group and the Coalition of KP Unions make history again in 2005, leading a National Bargaining process that resulted in a new five-year national agreement that covers 82,000 workers at 400 facilities in nine states and the District of Columbia. Click here for the full article originally published in the April 27, 2005 issue of At the Table


Defending Integrity

International industrial relations expert Dr. Thomas J. Schneider warns that any decline of union membership has serious implications not only for workers, but also employers and society as a whole. “A vibrant labor movement is a defining characteristic of strong democratic societies,” says Schneider, President and CEO of RAI and chairman of Schneider (Australia) Consulting. In “Defending Integrity” Schneider discusses the essential and critical role of professional associations in a free society and approaches to achieve better results. Click here for the full article first published in the June/July2004 edition of Professional Network.

Kaiser-Permanente's Labor-Management-Physician Partnership

In the January 2004 issue of the Negotiation Journal, Harvard and MIT scholars introduced a group of essays that evolved from a March 2003 symposium on the trailblazing new labor-management-physician partnership and use of interest-based negotiations (IBN) at Kaiser Permanente (KP), one of the largest integrated healthcare programs in the United States. These four essays briefly trace the history of the IBN approach (successes and failures), the growth of this phenomenon, and its use in collective bargaining settings. The scholars cited the KP case, the focus of the symposium jointly sponsored by MIT's Institute for Work and Employment Relations, and Harvard's Program on Negotiation as "by far the largest instance of the use of IBN in U.S. labor relations history." Click here for the full article, "Taking Stock of the Kaiser Permanente Partnership Story," by Susan C. Eaton, Robert B. McKersie, and Nils O. Fonstad, originally published in the Summer 2004 issue of the Negotiation Journal.

Unilever and Union Boost Worker Productivity  
At Unilever's Baltimore plant, ICWU members work together with management to improve productivity, assure job security and improve the company's bottom line. Union and management focus jointly on outperforming other Unilever plants and avoiding outsourcing to companies that argue they can complete jobs more cheaply. Click here for the full article originally published online at
Industrial Design
President and CEO of Restructuring Associates Inc., Dr. Thomas J. Schneider speaks internationally on working with the union movement, rather than against it, to improve a company's performance. Click here for the a related article,"Industrial Design," by Helen Vines, originally published in the September 2001 issue of HR Monthly.
An Interview with Tom Schneider
In an interview with Ingovernment, a leading Australian government magazine, RAI President and CEO Dr. Thomas J. Schneider, compares the challenges facing the US and Australian public sector organizations: resistance to change, insulation from marketplace pressures, political process and public relations issues. Click here for the full article, originally published in the January-February 2000 issue.
Food Plants Partner With Unions to Boost Competitiveness,
Morris, Charles E. Food Engineering, May 1999, pp. 69-74.

This May 1999 Food Engineering article highlights the "blue book" policy statement developed by the American Federation of Grain Millers and RAI to serve as a guideline for local unions in establishing labor-management partnerships. It further discusses RAI's work in organizational redesign and establishing labor-management partnerships at the (former) General Mills Betty Crocker plant in Toledo, OH, and the Hunt-Wesson vegetable oil refinery at Memphis, TN. Click here for the full article.

The Evolution of U.S. Labor-Management Relations,
Schneider, Thomas J. and John R. Stepp, from Through a Glass Darkly: Building the New Workplace for the 21st Century, ed. by James A. Auerbach, National Policy Association, 1998.

Authors Dr. Thomas J. Schneider and John R. Stepp examine recent workplace innovations and their linkage to labor relations." Click here for the full chapter.

Interest-Based Negotiation  

In the September/October 1998 issue of The Journal for Quality and Participation, John R. Stepp, Kevin M. Sweeney, and Robert L. Johnson analyze the capacity of Interest-Based Negotiation to enhance bargaining outcomes without impairing the parties’ relationships." Click here for the full article, "Interest-Based Negotiations: An Engine Driving Change."

What Have We Learned About Trust From Recent Experiences With Teaming and Empowerment?,
Bergel, Gary, Business and Professional Ethics Journal, Volume 16, Nos. 1-3. Click here for a printer friendly version of the article.
The Partnership Principles of Detroit Edison and the Utility Workers Union

Five-year contracts between Detroit Edison and the Utility Workers Union are underpin a set of “partnership principles” separately negotiated by the utility and the union. Click here for the full article, "Detroit Edison, UWU Contracts Underpin Partnership Principles," originally published in the Collective Bargaining Bulletin on 4 September 1997.

A Model for Union-Management Partnerships, Schneider, Thomas J. and Stepp, John R.
Perspectives on Work, 1997 Volume 1 Issue 2, Reprinted with permission of the Labor and Employment Relations Association

What Managers Should Know About Union Involvement In New Work Systems,

In Robert B. Leventha'ls , originally published in the June 1991 issue of The Journal for Quality and Participation, managersarticle can gain insight to working with unions as they consider, or, start, efforts to convert their traditional organization into a high performance, high involvement work system. Click here for the full article.

The Grain Millers’ Role in Creating Labor/Management Partnerships For New Work Systems, American Federation of Grain Millers.  

Restructuring Associates Inc. developed this proactive guidebook to partnerships and new systems of work in the early 1990s at the request of the American Federation of Grain Millers (now the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union). The material serves as an educational tool for local union leadership, and includes an overview of the business environment, a description of the elements of a high-performance or "new" work system and the union's role in it, words of caution, and an action plan when management opposes union involvement. Click here for a copy of this informative guidebook.

Best Practices at Yale: A New Beginning

After more than thirty years of tumultuous labor-management relations, Yale University and Federation of Hospital and University Employees Local 34 signed an unprecedented eight-year bargaining agreement designed to help turn their adversarial relationship around.



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