I’m going to interrupt our series about trends in labor-management to talk about a loss we suffered since my last blog post.
Mark Tackett was a member of several labor-management groups with which we have worked over the years. He worked for over 24 years in the field of human resources and labor relations for the state. He was a consummate professional, and an advocate of cooperative labor-management relationships and demonstrated this belief.
Unfortunately, Mark passed away February 6 at age 45. He leaves behind his wife and 4 children. His passing will leave a void for them and others. At the time of his death he was serving as the Deputy Director of the Ohio Office of Collective Bargaining, a role he referred to as his dream job. He was responsible for negotiations between the State and its bargaining units, a process he completed shortly before his death, as well as the process of enforcing and interpreting those contracts on a day-to-day basis.
What struck me about Mark was that he maintained a sense of fairness, looking for positive solutions whenever possible. The nature of his job made him the person who had to say “No” in many instances, but it always seemed his reasoning was solid. This was shown by his ability to maintain positive relationships and often friendships with the union staff and leaders with whom he worked. One union leader mentioned the ability to disagree with him over workplace issues then have a drink or dinner after the session. Many involved in the labor-management work cannot do this in a process that can become adversarial, but his desire to have a cooperative relationship between the parties benefitted everyone.
Mark served as a management representative on some of the labor-management committees we trained and facilitated, sometimes in difficult settings. His involvement benefitted those groups.
Mark was a management member of the CALMC Board of Trustees. I was very pleased when he joined our board, and his efforts on our behalf did not disappoint. His ideas, participation, and sense of humor will be missed. His skills will be difficult to replace for the Office of Collective Bargaining.
Our best wishes go out to his wife, Shelly, and the children. She was the management co-chair on some of the most effective committees with which we have worked, so knowing her makes the loss even more difficult.
Thanks, Mark, for all of your work on behalf of labor and management. You will be greatly missed.