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RAI Experiences and Perspective

Case Studies/Articles: Files

The National Business Review

Public Sector Needs Bolder Change Management - Expert, Allison, Caleb

New Zealand District Health Boards (Video)

Click here to watch a video of RAI president and CEO Tom Schneider delivering a key lecture to members of the Centre of Health System Improvement and Innovation for the Counties Manukau District Health Board. RAI is working in New Zealand to develop high engagement, high performance organizations in the healthcare and public sectors.

New Zealand Public Service Association (video)

IBEW 2008 Utility Conference

Tom Schneider presented "The Consultant's Are Coming"

IR Concepts Summer 2007

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

Professional Network

Defending integrity - First published in the June/July2004 edition of Professional Network, by Tracey Evans

HR Monthly

Industrial Design: Working with the union movement, rather than against it, is one of the best ways to improve a company's performance, says international industrial relations guru Dr Tom Schneider.

In Government

In an interview with In Government, a leading Australian government magazine. January - February 2000, pp.15 & 17

National Policy Association

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.

Business and Professional Ethics Journal

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.

Labor and Employment Relations Association

A Model for Union-Management Partnerships, Schneider, Thomas J. and Stepp, John R.
Perspectives on Work, 1997 Volume 1 Issue 2

Journal for Quality and Participation

What Managers Should Know About…Union Involvement In New Work Systems., originally published in the June 1991 issue of The Journal for Quality and Participation.

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RAI Perspective on Interest Base Negotiations

Case Studies/Articles: Files

Perspectives on Work

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.

The Journal for Quality and Participation

Interest-based negotiation demonstrates its capacity to enhance bargaining outcomes without impairing the parties’ relationships. September/October 1998 issue of The Journal for Quality and Participation, John R. Stepp, Kevin M. Sweeney, and Robert L. Johnson.

New Haven Register

Best Practices at Yale: A New Beginning

Yale University President

Richard C. Levin, "Milestone Labor Agreement." Message to Faculty, Staff, Students, and Alumni of Yale University. 15 April 2009.


Kaiser Permanente Labor-Management Partnership & Interest Base Negotiations

Case Studies/Articles: List

Harvard Business Review

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

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.

Negotiation Journal

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. 

Negotiation Journal

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

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

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.

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.

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. "Turning around Kaiser Permanente Ohio through Labor-Management-Physician Partnership," by Susan Mlot, published in the Summer 2005 issue of Perspectives on Work.

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RAI High Performance High Engagement Experience

Case Studies/Articles: Files


Originally published online at

U.S. Economy: Unilever, Union Boost Productivity With Workers

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. 

General Mills

Food Engineering

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. 

ConAgra-Wesson Oil

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.

Department of Energy


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.

American Federation of Grain Millers


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.


RAI Work in Utility Industry

Case Studies/Articles: Files


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.

Duke Energy (formerly Cinergy)

"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.

Detroit Edison

"Detroit Edison, UWU Contracts Underpin Partnership Principles," originally published in the Collective Bargaining Bulletin on 4 September 1997.

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