For the last three decades, RAI has brought its method, skills and processes to a broad range of industries and academic organizations, public, private sector, and not-for-profit, helping them to improve performance and become better places to work. Our consultants have helped these clients address the most complex and challenging organizational issues; RAI's ability to innovate and to adopt our approach to an individual client's needs, has yielded unique design solutions and strong stakeholder relationships. Clients value our skills, professionalism and results, engaging us for long-term, complex organizational change efforts.
Pictured: RAI President & CEO Tom Schneider and consultant Mike Belmont at client Air New Zealand's Auckland maintenance center, in front of a 777 engine.
Below is a representative sampling of our work:
Since 1996, RAI has been the partnership consultant to Kaiser Permanente, the nation's largest health maintenance organization, and the 8 international unions and 26 locals that form the AFL-CIO Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions. In this role, in 1997 , RAI facilitated the development of a comprehensive partnership agreement covering 60,000 employees at 400 facilities, covered under 38 different labor agreements; this agreement committed the organization and its unions to new ways of working together. Since then, RAI has advised senior union and management leadership at Kaiser Permanente and facilitated the parties in constructing a detailed partnership implementation plan. RAI has also helped deploy the partnership across the organization: RAI has facilitated partnership teams engaged in transforming the organization at regional and local levels, and trained 14 union and management internal consultants to assist. RAI has also designed and led rapid cycle improvement efforts to improve operating performance at the local and regional levels, and designed and led joint problem-solving efforts in such areas as workplace safety, attendance, training, communications, issue resolution and corrective action, and compensation and performance-based rewards.
In 2000, RAI led the design of an internationally recognized interest-based negotiation process to bargain centrally (at one table) the economic and non-economic issues common to Kaiser Permanente and its partnership unions. RAI provided interest-based negotiations training and facilitation at both the national and local levels in support of the process.
The Kaiser Permanente Labor-Management Partnership is the largest and most complex of its kind in the world today. The outstanding success of the Labor-Management Partnership and 2000 National Bargaining process have been documented by international scholars and the press. Please see Case Studies, Articles and Videos for more information on our work with Kaiser Permanente.
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.
In the 2010, 2012, and 2015 negotiations, as in the past, RAI worked with senior management and union leaders to plan, coordinate, and lead the bargaining process. In addition, RAI teamed with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to deliver interest based training to bargaining teams and to facilitate bargaining sessions.
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New York League of Voluntary Hospitals
A provision coming out of contract negotiations between the League of Voluntary Hospitals and SEIU 1199, RN Division, required the parties to reach agreement on nurse/patient staffing guidelines, a long-sought but rarely achieved goal. RAI provided Interest-Based Negotiations training for over 200 union and management representatives from 14 hospitals. RAI then provided each hospital and RN unit with facilitation and consulting assistance that led to successful negotiations for staffing guidelines in each hospital.
Please see the New York League of Voluntary Hospitals Case Study for more information on this project.
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Westport Senior Living of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, a national leader in senior living communities, partnered with Greystone Communities, Inc. of Irving, TX, in the planning, development, and management of senior living communities throughout the state of Florida. The Service International Employees Union (SEIU) began organizing efforts at two senior living campuses within the organization. A card-check recognition process agreement was reached. Restructuring Associates Inc. created and implemented a strategic framework that allowed union organization at Westport Realty's Greystone Communities and provided the foundation for a long and trusted relationship between the union and the employer. The proposed strategy consisted of 3 phases: Pre-Recognition, Bargaining an Initial Agreement, and Implementing a High-Performance Partnership.
The Pre-Recognition phase included an assessment and sharing of findings, and opportunities at which point the company and union could decide whether to continue forward. This phase allowed that potential obstacles be identified and resolved before they became problematic, and required that prior to approaching union organization and contract negotiations, the parties have a clear and shared picture of the positive potential that could result from collaboration. RAI identified specific action steps that should be taken before launching the card-check to lay the groundwork for a long and positive collaborative relationship, and provided consulting, orientation training, facilitation and assistance to ensure that card-check procedures be fully understood by both the Westport/Greystone management and the appropriate SEIU representatives, and that behavioral protocols be jointly agreed to by the local leadership.
Once majority support had been reached, Phase II, an initial agreement was negotiated using an Interest-Based Negotiations process. For many on both sides this was their first experience in working with a union, including negotiating a collective bargaining agreement. RAI trained the parties on IBN skills, provided strategic consulting advice and facilitated the negotiations. The parties completed Interest-Based Negotiations in May of 2001 and the innovative, non-traditional agreement was overwhelmingly approved by the union membership; the agreement was ratified by a vote of 250-5 (combined campuses). The contract laid the foundation for Phase III, a High-Performance Partnership Organization.
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Maimonides Medical Center
Maimonides Medical Center, SEIU 1199 and NYSNA (New York State Nurses Association) have been engaged in departmental and system-wide labor-management activities to improve problem solving and conflict resolution, strengthen labor-management relations, enhance the relationship between line managers and delegates, and develop leadership skills of managers, supervisors and delegates at the departmental level. The major intent of this project is to obtain a better working relationship between labor and management so that work issues and employee satisfaction can be addressed at the department level. Expected outcomes of the Conflict Resolution Project include: reduced grievances, arbitrations, and discipline issues and identified departmental labor-management problems.
RAI joined consultants from Cornell University's Labor Relations Program to provide strategic consulting advice, and developed and delivered a state-of-the art management development and supervisory skills program for mid-managers and supervisors in designated departments. The training was designed to develop competencies for managing effectively in a unionized environment. RAI also worked with Cornell to develop and deliver joint skills development training for union delegates, mid-level managers and supervisors and helped newly formed joint delegate committees to charter and plan their work.
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Dignity Health (formerly Catholic Healthcare West)
In the summer of 2006, Restructuring Associates, Inc. (RAI) was asked to work with both SEIU Local 1107 and Company leadership at Dignity Health's St. Rose Dominican Health System in Las Vegas, NV. The goal of RAI's engagement was to transform the St. Rose system into one of the top 5% performing Health Systems in the United States through a collaborative process.
RAI chartered and led a joint Labor/Management Steering Committee to drive the transformation within the St. Rose system. The Steering Committee in turn commissioned four major foundational committees (also facilitated by RAI) to build a strategic alliance based on the system's core values. Those four committees and their targeted objectives were:
- Stewardship-creating a business education designed to create an environment where managers and stewards had a strong understanding of the operations of both St. Rose Hospitals and SEIU 1107.
- Dignity-jointly communicating the status and results of Collaboration across the system.
- Collaboration-developing and implementing an ongoing training effort for all St. Rose managers and staff supporting the culture change resulting from the collaboration effort.
- Justice-building and implementing an effective Issue Resolution System.
RAI also created a re-design process for individual departments within the system in order to transform the system into a High Performance Organization. RAI facilitated three pilot departmental redesign teams (Nutrition Services, Respiratory Therapy, and Immunizations). These teams were charged with completely redesigning their departments in order to produce results equal or better than the top five percent of facilities across the nation. These teams, made up of both managers and employees from each department, evaluated their current operations, benchmarked high performing organizations across the country, and redesigned their operation to position them as top 5% performers.
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Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E)
In 2004, Pacific Gas and Electric, one of the largest electric and gas utilities in America, undertook an extremely aggressive, comprehensive, full system and cultural Business Transformation effort to fundamentally improve service and deliver it more cost-effectively. The ultimate goal was to turn the company into the leading utility in the nation. PG&E management quickly concluded that the large scale transformation effort could only achieve its ambitious performance objectives by collaborating with its two unions and engaging the workforce in the Business Transformation process. Both unions also realized that the impact of the Transformation process would profoundly affect their organizations and their members. Therefore, in 2005 RAI was engaged to assist PG&E and its two unions, IBEW Local 1245 and the Engineers and Scientists of California (ESC), IFPTE Local 20, in launching and managing a new strategic relationship. The strategic labor-management relationship includes much deeper and broader engagement of employees in the Transformation and related decision-making; a strict, card-check based, neutrality agreement (reversing the company’s prior active opposition to organizing efforts); and a world-class transition plan for employees displaced by the transformation. RAI provided ongoing consultation to PG&E, IBEW, and ESC through the Business Transformation design and implementation phases and assisted the parties in impact bargaining.
Click here to read more about PG&E's commitment to employee engagement
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Cinergy (now Duke Power)
Acquired by and renamed “Duke Power” in 2005 Cinergy was for many years one of the largest diversified electrical gas utilities in the US, with headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. Five local unions are present at the company, including IBEW Local 1347, IBEW Local 1393, USWA Local 14214, USWA Local 12049 and Utility Workers Union Local 600. Over the course of several years, RAI was asked to provide services to the company in a variety of different capacities.
In December 2003, Cinergy's management representatives, together with IBEW Local 1347, asked RAI to design, organize, lead and facilitate an in-depth educational process to identify, explore and jointly develop a common understanding of the issues related to healthcare costs and benefits. With healthcare emerging as a central point of contention in labor negotiations, Cinergy and IBEW Local 1347 desired a proactive discussion to comprehend the details surrounding the rise in healthcare costs, and the alternatives available, prior to scheduled negotiations in Spring 2004. Consequently, a joint union-management task force was created to review and discuss a compendium of healthcare issues, including:
- An overview of the American healthcare system, including financial and delivery components
- A detailed analysis of healthcare delivery systems
- The impact of the cost of prescription drugs
- A detailed analysis of cost containment strategies within the healthcare system
- Healthcare in the context of general bargaining trends
- A detailed clinical perspective of the U.S. healthcare system
- A detailed analysis of Cinergy benefits regarding IBEW 1347
The process included joint data collection and review, joint review of benchmarking research, and visits from outside experts. Following the educational sessions, the Cinergy and IBEW 1347 task force elected to continue engage in a problem-solving process. The work of the committee would be in lieu of any formal negotiations regarding healthcare benefits. RAI led this process over a three-month period to a successful conclusion.
In addition to its work with IBEW 1347 and Cinergy regarding benefits, RAI organized and facilitated a senior management and union leadership conference to examine employee disengagement and to develop a plan to engage employees. Following up on the conclusions drawn at the conference, RAI facilitated the work of a joint Strategy Committee, comprised of senior Cinergy executives (including CEO), leadership of the local unions, and representation from International-level IBEW and Utility Workers Unions and charged with setting overall strategy for improving the organization. Additionally, RAI facilitated the work of an associated Executive Committee, charged with translating into policy and action the decisions and directives of the Strategy Committee. Subsequent subcommittees - created at the bequest of the Strategy Committee and/or Executive Committee - and related to specific issues such as performance improvement, organizational change, communications, short-term disability plan, and contract administration, were led and facilitated by RAI staff.
In the 1990s, RAI worked with senior-level Cinergy Management led by Larry Thomas, President of Gas and Electric Distribution, and its four unions (IBEW Local 1347, USWA Local 14214, USWA Local 12049 and the then Independent Utility Union, now Utility Workers Union Local 600) to assure full union participation in a corporate-wide reengineering initiative. The initiative resulted in "early-bird" labor agreements that were ratified by all four unions and memorialized the understandings reached by consensus through an interest-based process. A joint governance structure was put in place to further enhance union-management relations, to share information, to improve communications and to discuss significant business and labor issues at all levels.
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In 2007 RAI was retained by Detroit Edison to be the consultant to the labor-management partnership between the Utility and Local 223 of the Utility Worker's Union of America. Previously, in the mid 1990's, RAI was the consultant on the initial formation and structure of the labor-management partnership between Detroit Edison and Local 223, and the plan for its implementation. RAI advised the senior labor and management representatives who had responsibility for guiding the partnership and the organizational change process. RAI also trained and worked with a group of internal consultants who were responsible for supporting the partnership. The Partnership continues to grow and thrive today. Click here for Article.
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Wisconsin Energy Corporation is a Milwaukee-based electric and gas utility. Its employees are represented by four different unions (formerly six unions, now IBEW Local 2150, IUOE Local 317, USWA Local 12005, OCAW Local 6-111). For five years, RAI worked to help Wisconsin Energy and their six unions develop new ways of working together.
Faced with creeping deregulation, WEC began a major reengineering process with another consulting organization. All but one of its unions refused to participate. As the process redesigns were nearing completion, it was apparent that before implementation could occur, major changes would be required in most collective bargaining agreements. Moreover, traditional jurisdictional borders between the unions had been blurred, if not erased by the redesign efforts.
RAI was contacted by management and the then six unions to see if it could help them sort out and resolve all the issues in dispute. RAI helped assemble a labor-management committee to achieve three objectives: (1) getting alignment around the business case for change, (2) resolving the many disputes resulting from the reengineering process; and (3) reengineering the union-management process. Nine months later, the three goals were achieved.
RAI facilitated the major contract negotiations. Nine separate IBEW contracts were consolidated into one. The agreement, in turn, reinforced the union-management partnership process. RAI then worked for a time within the six separate business units (Customer Service, Electric Operations, Gas Operations, Fossil Operations, Nuclear Power and Supply Chain) to implement the new partnership and its attendant workplace changes.
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Metropolitan Waste Water Commission, Minneapolis-St. Paul
In conjunction with a large civil engineering firm, RAI led a joint process to redesign the computer control system for the Metropolitan Wastewater Treatment Plant. Eight different unions worked to reach agreement with management on the parameters and specifications for the new system, following the principles of socio-technical system design. As a result of this initial effort, labor relations improved markedly at the facility. The largest of the eight unions involved, the International Union of Operating Engineers, formed a partnership with management that has led to significant change in plant operation, higher performance, and the relaxing of pressure to privatize the agency.
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Minneapolis Star Tribune
In early 2008 RAI was engaged by the Star Tribune to assist the organization and its 6 unions to address jointly the business challenges that confront the organization and the newspaper industry as a whole. Star Tribune employees are represented by locals affiliated with the Minnesota Newspaper Guild, the Teamsters, the SEIU, the Machinists, the IBEW, and the Operating Engineers. The Star Tribune is one of the most prominent newspapers in the US, and is in the top 20 papers nationally in terms of circulation.
RAI met individually with management and union leaders to understand their perspectives on the current challenges and the potential opportunities. Then, based on the findings from this assessment, RAI worked with management and the unions to develop a common understanding of the Star Tribune business and its challenges. The focus of this work was to ensure that leaders across the organization and the unions had the same information, as well as a shared understanding of that information and the implications for the business. Based on the outcome of this joint business education, RAI worked with the parties to determine the future actions and activities needed to ensure the long term viability and success of the organization.
Given the global challenges facing the newspaper industry, RAI's work with the Star Tribune was the topic of several articles/blogs. See the links below for more information.
- "Labor Buy-In at the Strib?", Edmonds, Rick, "Poynteronline Biz Blog", Posted 25 January 2008
- "Restructuring coming to the Strib, according to Publisher's memo", Schmelzer, Paul, "Minnesota Monitor", Posted 22 January 2008.
- "Strib revenue bombshell-the day after", Brauer, David, "Minnpost.com", Posted 23 January 2008
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RAI partnered with Australia Post over an 8 year period to implement new, high performance work structures & systems across its Letters processing facilities; a strategy which was and remains a key feature in the Corporation’s $600m Future Post investment in new high speed mail processing technology. Working at all levels and across most States, the role commenced with the development and execution of a corporate strategy to implement an internal design process for 2 new Greenfield (or lead) sites. Since then, the role has been expansive and has variously involved advising management in line and corporate support roles, leading site-based design and implementation activities, managing the engagement of unions in the reform effort, training and development of managers and staff to work in new team-based work models, ongoing evaluation and updating of deployment plans, and further development of corporate HRM policy directions in the areas of leadership, employee engagement, and rewards strategies. It is noteworthy that the new work systems have been implemented without disputation, and that the approach has been validated through formal evaluations (both internal and independent), and examined as a case study exemplar by other organisations (eg Coles Myer’s Supplying Excellence program).
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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 critical capabilities that food processing organizations would need in order to be successful in the future. The project was eventually written up as a Harvard Business School case study. 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.
The Year 2000 project led to another joint task force to determine the future of the West Coast production operations over the subsequent ten years. The conclusions of the efforts 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 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 West Coast facility. The operations have pay-for-skills and pay-for-performance 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. The Center for Effective Organizations at the University of Southern California has written a case study of the overall change process at General Mills in which RAI was the consultant. [ CEO publication No. G 91-14 (199) ] The high performance organization, new work system development was also the subject of a cover story in Fortune ("Who Needs a Boss," Fortune , May 7, 1990).
RAI assisted General Mills at these three plants, with the Year 2000 Project and in various other capacities over the course of nine years.
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ConAgra: Armour Swift Ekrich (Refrigerated Food Products)
As project consultant, RAI assisted ConAgra and the United Food and Commercial Workers in converting two meat processing plants from traditional organizations into high performance new work systems. The redesign resulted in self-managing, team-based, multi-skilled organizations with comprehensive business education training, pay-for-skills plans and pay-for-performance plans. RAI also helped the parties set-up labor management partnership structures, and facilitated successful interest-based negotiations in both facilities.
In addition, RAI led the redesign of an existing facility that had originally opened as an innovative organization, but had become traditional due to the lack of implementation of the original design concepts. All three facilities now operate as successful high performance organizations that are models for the remainder of the organization.
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Con-Agra: Hunt-Wesson Memphis Refinery
RAI led a redesign effort to develop a high performance organization and labor-management partnership at the Hunt Wesson Memphis Refinery, jointly with the United Food and Commercial Workers. The organization design and the resulting performance improvements are detailed in the following case study.
RAI worked with Con Agra Armour Swift-Eckrich (Refrigerated Food Products) and Con Agra Hunt Wesson for seven years.
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RAI provided training and consulting services for the Labatt Brewery and Local #1 of the Brewery Workers Union in the development of a labor-management relationship which has become a lasting partnership. RAI facilitated Partnership Council meetings and provided expert advice on the development of an issue resolution process and a non-punitive discipline system. RAI trained and facilitated successful interest-based negotiations for Labatt and the Brewery Workers Union at the local level, leading to main table negotiations. The parties were able to reach agreement on a new work schedule for peak production times, after failing to reach an agreement on this issue three years earlier in main table negotiations.
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Unilever HPC North America
RAI assisted Unilever HPC North America and its two unions in the redesign of their traditional manufacturing facilities into high performance organizations. RAI led two separate efforts: one between Unilever and the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers (now PACE-Paper Allied-Industrial Chemical and Electrical Workers) at the Hammond, IN facility, and the other between Unilever and the International Chemical Workers Union (now UFCW-United Food and Commercial Workers), representing three separate facilities under a single master contract (Edgewater, NJ, Baltimore, MD and St. Louis, MO). After an intensive education process, management and the unions in each group agreed to proceed with work system redesign focused on achieving specific business and people objectives. The eventual redesigns reflected socio-technical systems principles, and were structured around self-managed teams within decentralized business units, multi-skilled workers rewarded through innovative pay structures, and co-governance at the plant level. PACE negotiated the design into contract language prior to implementation. The UFCW did not, but nearly all of the design has since been implemented jointly at the Baltimore facility.
Separately, RAI also led the design of a pay-for-performance plan at Unilever's high performing Cartersville, GA facility. RAI's work with Unilever took place over the course of six years.
For more information on our work with Unilever, please see the Bloomberg.com article featuring the joint efforts of the Baltimore Unilever plant and the UFCW to improve the company's productivity and bottom line. Click here for Article.
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When Algoma Steel, Canada's third largest steel company, was in bankruptcy procedures and being restructured under auspices of Ontario courts, RAI helped the company and its union, the USWA, to design and implement a bargaining process more consistent with an employee-owned enterprise. RAI also facilitated the negotiations, which required the adoption of three major concessions in order to meet court-imposed financial goals. RAI helped the company and union build into the new collective agreement a structure and process for fully integrating employees into the decision-making process.
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Acquired by International Paper Company (http://www.internationalpaper.com) , Union Camp Corporation, is a Wayne, NJ-based paper and paper-product manufacturing company consisting of four key facilities . RAI trained and facilitated successful interest-based negotiations for Union Camp and PACE (Paper Allied-Chemical and Electrical Workers) at two different locations of the organization. At the Savannah, GA facility, the parties renegotiated their collective bargaining agreement to incorporate a work system redesign, merge seniority lists, set wage rates for the redesigned jobs, and provide a flexible buy-out package. At Franklin, VA, the parties renegotiated their collective bargaining agreement to incorporate a joint steering committee for the self-managed paper recycling facility, improve compensation to promote both productivity and profitability, and add transfer language for bargaining unit members wishing to go to the paper making operations.
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Allied Signal Aerospace, Communications Systems
RAI advised AlliedSignal and the International Association of Machinists on the design of a high performance work organization at the Towson, MD electronics facility. RAI led a joint union-management steering committee in an education process that led to an agreement to redesign the facility. RAI subsequently facilitated that effort, resulting in the conversion to self-managed, multi-skilled teams supported by extensive training and a pay-for-skills reward system. Towson 's high performance work organization enabled the facility to become a model business for the rest of the Aerospace Division.
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Over the course of five years, RAI led a joint union-management leadership process at Bell Canada which culminated in a shared strategic vision of the critical capabilities the organization would need to be successful in the newly deregulated market. RAI then successfully trained and facilitated two separate rounds of interest-based negotiations between Bell Canada and its unions, the Communication, Energy and Paper Workers and the Canadian Telephone Employees Association. The negotiations turned the shared strategic vision into a new labor agreement. The bargaining was completed in record time with overwhelming ratification in both unions (more than 80%). RAI subsequently helped develop a plan to implement the new agreement, and then trained a cadre of internal consultants, both union and management, to implement the work reorganization.
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After several unsuccessful attempts at developing the incentive pay plan negotiated in a prior form contract, Amtrak and the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees asked RAI to lead a design process. Following an initial education and benchmarking effort, union and management leadership reached agreement on a goalsharing plan focusing both parties on meeting key business objectives critical to higher levels of performance for the railroad.
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RAI partnered with ExxonMobil in 2005 to re-build field workforce alignment and engagement in its upstream operations. This work has progressed from targeted initiatives at each of Exxon’s locations into an integrated People Strategy that sets clear expectations in terms of management behaviours and practices, approaches to change, and union relations. The role currently transcends all levels of management and supervision in Operations, as well as Corporate support and Project groups.
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RAI was first engaged in 2003 as part of Australian Paper’s resolve to lift workplace flexibility and capacity to deal with an increasingly competitive outlook and tightening budgetary conditions. The initial focus of changing a workplace & industrial relations culture commonly described by all parties as “their world-class problem” commenced at Australia’s largest paper manufacturing mill in Maryvale (Victoria) with heavily facilitated joint problem solving interventions involving managers, workforce and the CFMEU. Building on this initial success, the role soon expanded to working closely with management to articulate and implement a new manufacturing strategy for the site. Over the years, the interventions have extended into instituting a continuous improvement focus (commencing with a structured Profit Improvement initiative that repaid the initial investment seven times over in the 1st year), and leading participative re-design projects; this time involving managers, workforce, all unions (CFMEU, CEPU, and AMWU) and contractors, and targeting the safety and the internal maintenance functions. It is noteworthy that each of these initiatives are recognized by management and unions as being significant contributors to improvements in working relationships achieved over this period; a factor which was noted during the Corporation’s decision to proceed with its new Pulp Mill investment at the Mill.
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Department of Energy (DOE)
RAI initially advised the Department Secretary on developing and implementing a manpower planning process in response to legislation requiring the conversion of all of the Department's nuclear weapons facilities into other uses - essentially the world's largest environmental remediation project. The plan was accepted by the Department, the contractors who ran the sites, and all 26 unions at the sites, who were in conflict over which unions were to do the remediation work. This initial project led to the revision of the remediation contract bid process from a cost-plus system to a performance-based system that took the interests of all stakeholders under consideration.
Subsequently RAI helped the contractor at one large site, with a long history of highly adversarial labor relations, develop a successful cooperative relationship with labor. At another facility, RAI worked with the Department, the contractor and the two unions on site to develop an innovative labor-management partnership that led to a restructuring of the organization and successful clean up and conversion of the site more than six years ahead of schedule.
RAI worked with DOE in these efforts and at several sites for nearly six years.
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Department of State (DOS)
RAI occasionally provides services and training for international programs sponsored by the US Department of State. In cooperation with Search for Common Ground, the world’s largest non-profit conflict resolution organization, RAI trained Moroccan labor leaders, Ministry of Labor officials, and private sector managers in mediation and labor-management partnerships. Together with US mediators from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) and the private sector, RAI has provided mediation training and consultation for the Union of Mediation Centers of Romania.
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Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance
RAI's involvement with the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance (“DTF”) commenced in 2000 with the engagement to lead the re-design of the department’s Budget and Financial Management Division. We partnered with DTF to improve the annual preparation & publication of Victoria’s State Budget. This work was undertaken in a period of ongoing policy reform (e.g., Management Reform Program, introduction of new Departmental funding model), required ongoing engagement and dialogue with Ministers and bureaucrats, and led to significant changes to DTF’s internal governance arrangements, work processes, and engagement processes with departments. The evaluation and planning activities were progressively modified and embedded through this period consistently yielded refinements or changes necessary to maintain the process at a level which was generally recognized as continually improving in terms of efficiency and satisfaction.
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RAI worked with Yale University and Locals 34 and 35 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees (HERE), AFL-CIO, since 2001 when RAI was selected to assist them in establishing a less adversarial and more mutually beneficial relationship. The parties jointly agreed to utilize interest-based negotiations in their 2001-2002 collective bargaining, which resulted in an unprecedented eight year contract. RAI both facilitated this process and acted as a substantive resource to both sides to help assure that the new collective bargaining agreement serves to accelerate the change process. The attached articles from The New York Times, Yale Daily News and New Haven Register chronicle some of those events:
RAI provided consultation and training for Yale management and Locals 34 and 35 in support of their joint Best Practices Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to leverage the strategic labor-management relationship to increase productivity, efficiency and satisfaction of employees and managers and to improve the quality of services provided by the University.
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Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts is a world-class research university comprised of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and nine professional schools. Since 2000, RAI has consulted to the university and the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers (HUCTW) which is affiliated with AFSCME. HUCTW represents approximately 4800 members who work in various administrative, academic and research roles throughout the university.
RAI provides consulting advice and project management services to redesign work organization and business processes. The projects involve joint labor and management teams that validate customer requirements, analyze business processes, and learn about staff needs. The joint teams then redesign 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. The overall goal is to make Harvard work better and make Harvard a better place to work. Sites have included central administration (e.g. staff benefit services and student financial services), faculty support (e.g. an international affairs center and a professional school) and research settings (e.g. an animal research facility).
In addition, RAI has assisted on numerous projects to improve communication, team skills, conflict resolution, work environment and effective services in a variety of settings across the university. Among these initiatives are contractually-mandated joint leadership committees at school and department levels that oversee collaborative processes. The processes typically include managers, front line supervisors, union representatives and front line staff. RAI's role has included assessment, training, organizational strategy, coaching union and management leaders and hands-on leadership of design and implementation activities.
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J. Craig Venter Institute (formerly The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR))
RAI helped The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) with its organizational development over the course of seven years, as the organization grew from an 8-person research organization to a world-renowned research institute of approximately 375 Faculty, Bioinformatics, Sequencing and Administrative staff. RAI first met with TIGR in 1996 to organize and lead a strategic retreat of organization leadership and Faculty to help clarify the TIGR vision and organization objectives, to evaluate critical capabilities, and to determine next steps of the organization. At this time, RAI also conducted an employee survey to help surface concerns and issues and facilitated subsequent problem-solving sessions. Later, in 2002, when the organization had reached another turning point due to rapid expansion and the continuing revolution in genomics, RAI interviewed and conducted focus groups of Leadership, Faculty, Bioinformatics, Sequencing and Administrative staff and conducted an employee survey to identify organizational challenges and assess the overall state of the organization. As a result, RAI helped TIGR form three joint problem-solving task forces (Bioinformatics/Faculty, Grants Administration/Faculty and Hiring and Promotion) to resolve systemic issues that had arisen in the organization as a cumulative result of TIGR's rapid expansion. Over the course of several months, RAI facilitated problem-solving processes for these task forces to lead systems change and to develop a state of the art recruiting, hiring, promotion and termination process.
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Victorian Insitute of Educational Leadership
RAI was engaged by the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) to work with leading educators and educational thinkers around the world to develop a business model for the establishment the Victorian Institute of Educational Leadership (VIEL). The resulting business model was adopted and the VIEL will provide exemplary preparation and professional development for aspiring and current educational leaders including school principals, specialist educators from across Victoria. An important aspect of this project was the effective consultation and engagement with a diverse range of stakeholders who were passionate about the challenges ahead for education. RAI also conducted benchmarking with similar institutions run by universities and corporations in the US and UK.
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