IAM, UE and Kenyon College Commit to Partnership


From left, IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger, Kenyon College President Sean M. Decatur and UE President Bruce Klipple sit down to sign the Middle Path Partnership Agreement. Many employees also signed their names to the partnership.

Members of IAM Local 2794, in conjunction with management at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH, have come together to form a mutually-beneficial partnership that looks to build a foundation of shared decision making, improved work processes and job security.

The “Middle Path Partnership Agreement,” which also includes members of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), was signed by IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger, UE President Bruce Klipple, Kenyon College President Sean M. Decatur and many employees at a ceremony at the college on August 14.

IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger speaks to Kenyon College management and employees about the positive effects the Middle Path Partnership Agreement will have on the college and community.

“We commend our Local 2794 Brothers and Sisters, the UE and Kenyon College leadership, for agreeing to a system of labor-management relations that encourages open dialogue, joint decision-making and continuous education,” said Buffenbarger. “The Middle Path Partnership Agreement is a model for labor and management to embrace change for the benefit of all; workers, managers, students, faculty and the community.”

The partnership implements a High Performance Work Organization (HPWO) structure that organizes workers into Natural Work Groups (NWGs) according to the nature of their work. The groups meet regularly and identify common goals and problems and then develop strategies to make workplace improvements.

The Middle Path Partnership Team, composed of union leaders and college management, provides oversight and support for the NWGs and monitors the long-term goals of the agreement.

IAM Local 2794 was chartered in 1991 and represents Kenyon College employees along with UE Local 712. The IAM’s HPWO Partnerships Department supports many such agreements and labor management partnerships across North America. This is the first such agreement between the IAM and a college or university.

Click here to see the full text of the agreement.