Release date: 1/18/2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. —A team of mediators from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) reports progress is being made in training to improve labor-management relations at a St. Cloud VA Health Care System.
Led by FMCS mediators, representatives from the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 390 and managers at the St. Cloud VA Health Care System have jointly participated in intensive training exercises, classroom-style instruction and facilitated discussions designed to improve skills in communicating, joint problem solving and team building—all with the goal of improving labor-management relations and cooperation and assuring veterans the best possible care. Improving joint problem solving, communication and team building skills enhances organizational performance and leads to better service for customers.
The program is known as Relationship-by-Objective (RBO) training; the specialized instruction provided by FMCS is designed to reduce labor-management conflict and to improve cooperation through increased levels of trust, respect and understanding among the parties involved. RBO training is one of the services offered by FMCS in response to a joint request for assistance from labor and management.
Participants have more work to do with FMCS mediators, and have absorbed skills and demonstrated the ability to utilize the training going forward in their relationship. FMCS mediator Darlene Voltin reported “Progress is being made.” After a break, training with the parties will resume March 15 and 16, 2016.
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