Other views: VA's union/management partnerships are valued
The Forum's "Our Opinion" editorial (June 15) suggested that the Fargo VA was attempting to do "union busting." On the contrary, the Fargo VA has supported strong management/union partnerships since the concept began. There are times when we disa...
The Forum's "Our Opinion" editorial (June 15) suggested that the Fargo VA was attempting to do "union busting."
On the contrary, the Fargo VA has supported strong management/union partnerships since the concept began. There are times when we disagree but, when we do, we never lose sight of our mission: To maintain and improve the health and well-being of veterans. It is this commitment to veterans service that helps us focus on problem resolution and we have always been able to resolve our differences and move forward.
The issue of physician salaries had absolutely nothing to do with unions. It is a disagreement between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Labor over who has the authority to set physician salaries. It was not mentioned in the article that VA has at times paid more than the DOL wage rate.
The situation with the two physicians, in whose favor the DOL administrative law judge made her determination, is still in appeal and thus cannot be discussed explicitly. It should be noted that the Merit Systems Protection Board determined that the physicians' cases were not supportable.
The VA has caring and devoted employees. Our most recent "Hands & Heart" recipient was one of our foreign-born physicians, Dr. Syed Mehdi. This nationally recognized award is given to an employee who demonstrates compassionate care.
We value all of our employees and appreciate the contributions of our highly skilled professional staff. Recently, in collaboration with our union partners, we developed a new Employee Awards Program that allows us to formally recognize employees' outstanding performance.
The Fargo Veterans Administration Medical and Regional Office Center will celebrate its 75th anniversary on June 25 at 11 a.m. If you'd like to see with your own eyes what our facility and staff are really like, come join us.
Kenyon is director of the Fargo VA Medical Center and Regional Office Center. E-mail Janis.Thompson2.@med.va.gov