FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Jan. 22, 2013) -- The U.S. Army Medical Department Activity and Fort Drum AFGE Local 400 have taken a proactive posture in promoting superior labor relations. This has been accomplished by implementing a MEDDAC-Union Partnership Council and signing into action a Partnership Charter.
The Partnership Council is composed of MEDDAC senior leadership, AFGE representatives, human resource representatives, and the installation Civilian Personnel Advisory Center labor specialist.
It is the Partnership Council’s intent and purpose to promote and improve efficient administration of the federal service and well-being of employees, and to establish a basic understanding of relative personnel policies, practices, working conditions and matters affecting conditions of employment.
The Partnership Council extends this relationship to all levels of the organization to foster an atmosphere of mutual trust and ensure every effort is made to reach agreements that address the interests of both parties. Members will work together to fulfill the promise and accomplish the mission, with respect for one another.
"MEDDAC leadership greatly appreciates AFGE leadership in joining with us in the partnership effort,” said Col. Mark W. Thompson, MEDDAC commander. “Both groups of leaders want to work towards the goals of making the Fort Drum MEDDAC a great place to work and a place where our employees can strive to meet their personal goals while providing care to the great Soldiers and Families of Fort Drum.”
The Partnership Council recognizes that dedicated, professional, concerned and happy employees are the means for providing effective and superior service. In support of attaining superior service, both parties have agreed to work as a single entity, through the Partnership Council, in resolving labor disputes by implementing cooperative solutions, improving employee satisfaction and heightening the delivery of the best quality health care to the Fort Drum Soldier and Family Member beneficiary population.
The goal of the Partnership Council is to attempt to achieve a consensus, whereby all participants support the final decision. Members will promote a simple and just means for resolving disputes and misunderstandings, provide an effective mechanism for articulating employee concerns, and foster open and effective communication.
"Having a workforce that looks forward to coming to work is a goal of both management and labor,” said Jeffrey W. Zuhlke, president of AFGE Local 400. “AFGE Local 400 is looking forward to our continued partnership with MEDDAC leadership to change the historic labor / management dynamics from confrontational to transformational."
Partnership Council processes shall be the first and primary mechanism used in resolving differences and in reaching solutions to issues that would otherwise proceed directly to formal negotiations. The Partnership Council shares a desire to serve as a model of cooperativeness for the installation and the Army Medical Department.
(MEDDAC Command and AFGE Local 400 release)