In the late 1980's, a well-publicized health concern at one of Boeing's Puget Sound, Washington, plants launched the interest of both the Boeing Company and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM Union) to jointly address workplace health issues and concerns for IAM-represented employees at Boeing. This also created an occasion to focus on enhancing employee opportunities for education, job skills and career development. As a result, the Health and Safety Institute (HSI) and Quality Through Training Program (QTTP) were established in the 1989 International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM) and The Boeing Company Collective Bargaining Agreement for districts 751, 70 and 24.
Two years later, the Return to Work (now known as Vocational Rehabilitation Services) program was established to address the needs of injured employees and written into the 1992 collective bargaining agreement. The umbrella organization, IAM/Boeing Joint Programs, was established in 1996 to oversee the administration and direction of the three programs. Recognizing the value of the partnership, the company and union have continued to negotiate the programs into subsequent collective bargaining agreements.
IAM/Boeing Joint Programs Today
Today, although the IAM/Boeing Joint Programs organization's primary objective is to improve the health, safety and educational opportunities for IAM-represented employees at The Boeing Company, the joint partnership performs another very important function. The partnership is a crucial component of the Working Together model at the company. IAM/Boeing Joint Programs is an equal partnership between the union and the company. Its leadership, staff, and services reflect a balanced governing responsibility. This balanced responsibility has enabled IAM/Boeing Joint Programs to operate as a credible resource for both labor and management.