Multi-Unit Collaboration Committee: Producing Better Solutions
Thursday, September 06, 2012

FLRA Senior Disputes Resolution Specialist Michael Wolf

The Multi-Unit Collaboration Committee (MUCC), a joint FAA/NATCA effort, held its quarterly meeting this week at the NATCA National Office.  The day-and-a-half session with several non-ATO organizations made some significant progress. The organizations represented in MUCC are Aircraft Certification (AIR), Regions and Centers (ARC), Airports Division (ARP), Drug Abatement (DAI), Legal Division (AGC), and Financial Services (ABA). These groups fall under the NATCA Multi-Unit Collective Bargaining Agreement (the “blue book”), and their bargaining units are part of Region X. The national representatives and their management counterparts meet as the MUCC to address shared issues collaboratively.

This week's session was part strategy meeting, and part training workshop. One of the training portions was led by Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) Senior Disputes Resolution Specialist Michael Wolf who talked to attendees about how our culture sets us up to reflexively attack new challenges from a “win/lose” perspective.

“You can’t have a collaborative culture in the workplace if counterparts are thinking, ‘I can’t get what I need to succeed unless I’m taking away from what you need,’” said Wolf.

He then led the group through exercises that highlighted this habit, and illustrated a step-by-step method to creating a healthier approach. He also pointed out most of these best practices have been taught by various theorists since the 1960’s, and many large organizations have had great success after applying them.

NATCA Collaboration Lead Russ Miller led the MUCC through another activity that practiced interest based communication (IBC) skills that support healthy collaboration. IBC training is rolling out nationwide this autumn within the Air Traffic Organization (ATO).

Miller said that one of the strategic goals accomplished during this meeting was getting a commitment from the organizations to send a number of field pairs of managers and reps to Collaboration Process training at four different sites around the country.

“Part of making collaboration a reality in the field, making it a common approach to how we do business, is empowering the people closest to the problems to produce our best solutions, said Miller. "This two-day training course will be key in setting those groups up for success.”

The Collaborative Process training will also be provided to the MUCC’s national pairs at their next quarterly meeting at the end of November. Next on their agenda: developing a joint communications strategy for publicizing new Multi-Unit successes produced through collaboration.