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Let’s get beyond the management vs. labor approach

After seeing Marty Walsh repeatedly questioned about his ability to be both pro-labor and a mayor who can effectively negotiate with municipal employees (“Path carries Walsh closer to his dream,” Sept. 25), I felt compelled to rebut the notion that this is a contradiction. As executive director of an underfunded agency, I am responsible for ensuring that our organization remains fiscally sound so that we can continue to achieve our mission.

Our unionized staff see the big picture as well. They also know that their ability to be gainfully employed depends upon our ability to manage the budget well. At the same time, the rest of our management team and I are well aware of the need to provide decent pay and benefits to ensure that staff can live a quality life, to maintain morale, and, frankly, because it’s the right thing to do. We achieve this by maximizing transparency so that staff and management are well aware of our fiscal circumstances and by engaging in a productive and open dialogue about the best way to maximize our scarce resources.


Employing a management vs. labor approach hasn’t worked so well in the past, so how about we put that business model to rest?

Marcy Goldstein-Gelb

The writer is the executive director of the nonprofit Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health.