The city of Austin has settled a long-running labor dispute with its street, wastewater treatment, and parks and recreation workers represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union. For three years, the two sides clashed over payday schedules, overtime and alleged salary structure inequities.
The new agreement includes a move from weekly to biweekly paychecks. The city had sought the change to cut administrative costs. UAW negotiators were more concerned with pay equity among comparable positions within the city’s employment structure.
Advice: If you have a unionized workforce, take a cue from this standoff. Each side in the Austin dispute saw different issues as key, which is one reason it took three years to reach an agreement. Labor negotiators should take a step back and look at the issues from the other side’s point of view. That often makes it easier to compromise—and to reach a quicker agreement.
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