When the leaders of ATU Local 587, King County Metro, and Professional and Technical Employees Local 17 launched the Partnership To Achieve Comprehensive Equity, or PACE, in September of 2013, it signaled a binding commitment to build and enhance the processes, tools, and standards for advancing diversity and equal opportunity for all Metro employees.
Since this landmark agreement, employees and managers serving on the Steering Committee have met regularly and have worked together to create a work plan for the coming year. Because the work of this effort is substantial, and because broad participation is vital to its success, a call for interested volunteers was sent out across the agency. Subcommittee members were selected through an open process that occurred earlier this year, and what started as a small working group of 10 has now expanded to a full committee of nearly 60, all of whom are dedicated to the long-lasting success of PACE.
Six subcommittees were identified in the PACE charter to ensure genuine progress in six key areas: Recruitment and Selection Practices, Communicate Progress, Equal Opportunity, Customer Service and Customer Complaints, and Training and Workforce Development. These subcommittees are tasked with creating a series of recommendations based on the scope of work crafted by the PACE Steering Committee.
On February 18, 2014, members of the partnership gathered at the Union Hall to begin their work on this agency-wide initiative. Members participated in training on cultural competency and understanding the effect of privilege in the workplace. The day-long session provided a forum to look candidly at issues that impact Metro employees and launch the work of the subcommittees. The training ended with high energy and enthusiasm. Committee members will be working for the next several months to complete their work, and a report on the first year’s progress will be published by the end of the summer.
What is PACE? “King County Metro Transit (Metro) and the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587 (ATU) are mutually committed to building and enhancing the processes, tools and standards to make advances on issues of diversity and equal opportunity for all within the agency. By partnering together, Metro and ATU will create an environment for positive change, improved communication among all employees, and a workforce that reflects, respects and embraces diversity as a shared core value of our service to the public” – Purpose Statement, PACE Charter, September 24, 2013. Find out more here (PDF).