Workplace Relationship Improvement Program (WRIP)
The Workplace Relationship Program (WRIP) is offered to those parties who are experiencing difficulties in their ongoing labour/management relationship. The program is voluntary and requires commitment by senior members of the Police Association and the Police Services Board in order to be successful. WRIP provides a structure under which the parties can identify and jointly agree to the problems that are affecting the relationship. It is not designed to revise the terms of the collective agreement, existing board policies or resolve ongoing grievances.
OPAC will provide a facilitator team who are trained and well-experienced in workplace relationship improvement processes; they will work with the parties to develop an approach that is appropriate to the organization.
A number of approaches will be used. One of these is a modified Relationship by Objectives (RBO). In this program the parties, over two or two and one-half days, work in separate caucuses, plenary or small mixed teams to:
- Identify Problems: In separate caucus the Police Association and the Police Services Board are asked to identify actions and attitudes of the other parties that are having a negative effect on the relationship. In addition, a second question is asked: “What could you do to improve the relationship?”
- Agree on the Problems: In plenary session, each of the items identified in the prepared lists are discussed and adopted by the participants as issues that need to be dealt with.
- Adopt Objectives: Prepare a list of Objectives, derived from the lists discussed by the parties in Step 2 for their approval. Once approved they become common objectives.
- Develop Action Steps: Small mixed teams made up of representatives each of the Police Association and Police Services Board are assigned a portion of the Objectives to develop specific action steps to achieve the Objective.
- Approve Action Steps: In separate caucus the parties approve the Action Steps and assign responsibility for the action from their caucus and discuss possible time frames.
- Assign Accountabilities: In plenary session, the Police Association and Police Services Board exchange the names of those responsible and agree to timeframes. The parties sign the formal document, which represents what has been agreed upon.
- Follow-up: A further meeting(s) of those present at the session would be held at a later date to review the state of progress and address any deficiencies.
There are many permutations to the process that would be effective in a given circumstance. Any final decision as to process must be arrived at following discussions and with the agreement of the parties.
Generally speaking there should be an approximately equal number of participants from the Police Association and Police Services Board. Senior levels of both organizations should be present including the Chief, President of the Association, and one or two Police Services Board members.
The Conciliators currently utilized by OPAC for rights and interest disputes are highly trained and well-experienced facilitators in the delivery of this program and other processes designed to assist workplace parties.
The program is voluntary and requires mutual agreement and commitment of the Police Association and Police Services Board to proceed. Commitment at the senior level is an essential component of OPAC agreeing to proceed with the program.
An Association or Board, separately or jointly, can contact OPAC directly or a referral can also be made by a conciliation officer.
After initial contact, and if there is sufficient interest an exploratory meeting of the parties would be convened to discuss the state of the relationship, possible issues, and type of intervention required and to determine, as well, the degree of commitment. Everyone should leave this meeting understanding what is involved and what the required next steps are in the process.
Costs for the OPAC facilitators, their accommodation and expenses are paid by OPAC. All other expenses for meeting rooms, administrative staff and stationery are the responsibility of the Police Association and Police Services Board.