The Importance of Having a Labor Management Committee

My name is Aaron Carson, a Group Supervisor II at Summit View Youth Center. I am also an AFSCME member of our Labor Management Committee. A huge benefit about being in an LMC is that rank and title holds no weight inside an LMC meeting. You get to discuss policies and procedures on an equal ground with your own supervisors and administrators. Being part of an LMC gave me a full understanding of the power we have to make changes in our workplace when state employees come together as a union.  

Summit View was the first agency to establish an LMC after a successful petition signed by over 80% of our coworkers. Our most important victory was implementing 15 minute paid breaks. After establishing through an LMC meeting that we are NOT a correctional facility, and are therefore not subject to the law that exempts us from paid breaks, paid break times were implemented. And if we were not offered one or both of our breaks, we were paid overtime for it. This was a significant win for the employees at Summit View as break times have not been enforced since the facility reopened in 2015.  

Another issue we were able to address through our LMC were mandatory overtime. Staff were being mandated a double shift with less than the required 4 hour notification period. With such little notice, sometimes 10-15 minutes, staff were reprimanded for being unable to stay for the overtime shift. We worked with our facility administration to make changes to this policy and expunge write ups for affected staff. Currently, we are still waiting to finalize the policy, but these changes would not have been possible without an LMC. 

There are still many workplace issues our committee plans to strategically address through future LMC meetings. As a result of having this committee, I can confidently say overall staff morale has increased. Our hope is to create a workplace culture that where staff feel respected and we confident we have the resources to best do our jobs. I firmly believe for that to happen, it is crucial that employees have a voice in the workplace. I encourage everyone to continue to petition for an LMC. Dont let anyone make you feel bad for wanting to have a voice on the job.  

Having a voice through an LMC gives me a new appreciation for the power we together have as union members.