Humans of Partnership: Julia Howard

portrait of Julia Howard

Labor Management Partnership 20th Anniversary Logo

In 1997, I was the lead pharmacy tech and a shop steward for UAW Local 600 at a hospital in Detroit. I started at KP in 2005—before unit-based teams. Not everyone was on board with partnership. There was no team. We had no input. Once, we had an issue with an employee who was rude and made the workplace hostile. I spoke to her manager, who did nothing. It improved after several meetings and once I filed a grievance. The difference now is you come together right away, on one accord. Managers realize we work as a team. We discuss issues without fear of retaliation—before, you felt retaliation. It’s wonderful now that we have UBTs with managers fully participating. When we come to the table, everyone’s title is off. We are all the same. 

Julia Howard, certified pharmacy technician, Brookwood at Peachtree Medical Office, UFCW Local 1996 (Georgia)