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VA (Department of Veterans Affairs)

The United States has the most comprehensive system of assistance for veterans of any nation in the world. This benefits system traces its roots back to 1636, when the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony were at war with the Pequot Indians. The Pilgrims passed a law which stated that disabled soldiers would be supported by the colony. The establishment of the Veterans Administration came in 1930 when Congress authorized the President to "consolidate and coordinate Government activities affecting war veterans." (Source: www4.va.gov/about_va/vahistory.asp)

This forum also includes the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

Perhaps you are working for the VA or interested in working for the VA. Here is a forum to share your experience with the VA.

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mkarns  
#1 Posted : Friday, March 30, 2012 12:27:53 AM(UTC)
mkarns

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I am currently a manager at the Records Management Center.
 
About two weeks ago my dept. chief called me into her office and issued me an admonishment for letting my computer screen on while not at my desk.
 
I'm not arguing that fact; but ten minutes later she came to my desk and asked for it back. I gave it to her and she didn't give a reason why she was taking it back.  I had a very stressful 5 days wondering what this was all about.
 
At COB on the 5th day the asst. dept chief called me into his office and handed me the same or similiar Admonishment without saying a word.  I asked him what happened to the one the dept chief issued me.  He said he had no knowledge of that and told me to just sign.
 
I signed it and left his office shocked by the lack of professonalism.
 
My question is:  Can I be issued the same thing twice by two different people 5 days apart?  The head of H.R. from USDA says they can't.
 
I submitted an informal grievance and that was due yesterday, Thursday, March 29, 2012.
 
Can anyone tell me if I have a case or what my next course of action should be?
 
I'd surely appreciate any and all input.
 
Thanks,
M. Karns
 
grieveit  
#2 Posted : Friday, March 30, 2012 7:14:19 AM(UTC)
grieveit

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What case, the 1st was pulled and the 2nd was administered. Seems like your trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill that you created
Knight  
#3 Posted : Friday, March 30, 2012 8:09:56 AM(UTC)
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Most likely only one will be filled in your OPF. The first person probably got told they cannot write you up so it was pulled back.
Beagle1AD  
#4 Posted : Friday, March 30, 2012 10:42:55 AM(UTC)
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You only got issued one admonishment.  So you got in trouble for not doing something you're suppose to be doing so I don't see what your issue is?

Did you think you should be fired, suspended or something instead of an admonishment?


Knight  
#5 Posted : Friday, March 30, 2012 11:28:35 PM(UTC)
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I would have thought a verbal would have been enough for this incident if it is non-classified info. If it was Secret or TS, that is a different story. I have heard that the VA and SSA are tighter in dealing with SSNs then DOD is with nukes.
mkarns  
#6 Posted : Saturday, March 31, 2012 11:11:44 AM(UTC)
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I'm not making a mountain out of a mole hole!

I was advised by the head of Human Resources at USDA this was not correct and should be grieved.

I kinda resent the way you guys are representing me. 

grieveit  
#7 Posted : Sunday, April 01, 2012 2:06:47 AM(UTC)
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you posted on a VA website and your telling us you got advice from the head of USDA about proper procedure sounds like the folks at the VA would have cause against that guy
mkarns  
#8 Posted : Sunday, April 01, 2012 3:10:44 AM(UTC)
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Hmmm......I thought we were all civil servants serving under the same laws and rules!
 
What pertains to one agency surely must apply to another.
Knight  
#9 Posted : Sunday, April 01, 2012 6:50:03 AM(UTC)
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Have you asked either of them about it? If it really bugs you ask. If your workplace is so confrontational you can't ask, I feel sorry for you. A grievance is used to settle a problem.. that cannot be fixed normally. So far you are the only one with an issue. Maybe the 1st letter was invalid, but until you ask you don't know. At least talk to a VA union person about it and have them ask.
 
In DOD I have had to take back a letter that I wrote because the Agency wanted to do more then just counsel a person. They wanted to do a suspension so they told me my actions were invalid and I tore up my letter. In your case it does not matter since they are the same level of paperwork. Only one will probably be filed.
trosas9  
#10 Posted : Sunday, April 01, 2012 7:29:41 AM(UTC)
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If you got caught doing something wrong ("red-handed" ) then expect there will be consequences. On the other hand there are always ways of handling issues that arise like this. My experience as a Correctional Officer UNION SHOP STEWARD has made me a veteran with investigations and write-ups. First Off! Cardinal Rule #1 is NEVER EVER go into your supervisors office without a Union Rep. Your supervisor DOES NOT have to ask you if you need one. You have to request a Union Rep and everything stops until you have one. They CAN NOT DENY you a Union Rep. It's illegal. It is always safe to have a Union Rep when you are requested by Managment. Rule #2 NEVER EVER sign a write up! You are admitting guilt and have no leg to stand on. Management might say your just signing it admitting that you recieved the write-up not that you agree with it. THAT IS A LIE! So, never sign anything unless its an Evaluation that you agree with. This is what I think happened to you. That 1st write-up was to see if you requested a UNION REP and to see if you signed it. You did! You admitted to it without pleading your case. The 2nd write-up was the "REAL ONE" knowing that you signed the previous one without a UNION REP. Me being your Rep I would have asked to see what policy you broke and would have requested to see everyone elses computer work space to see if they were in the same pickle as you. Then they probably would have dropped the whole issue. Remember! Theres always two sides to a story and then theres the TRUTH!
GSBS  
#11 Posted : Sunday, April 01, 2012 7:46:36 AM(UTC)
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mkarns wrote:
Hmmm......I thought we were all civil servants serving under the same laws and rules!
 
What pertains to one agency surely must apply to another.
 A similar thing happened to me.  I would have refused to sign whatever they were presenting you. Isn't it true unless this has happened before, a simple mistake should be a verbal warning without documentation placed in your file? 
mkarns  
#12 Posted : Sunday, April 01, 2012 8:02:04 AM(UTC)
mkarns

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I don't have the strength of the Union behind me.

I'm in management, thus my only recourse was an informal grievance and then a  formal grievance.  I don't know what else to do at this point.....

trosas9  
#13 Posted : Sunday, April 01, 2012 8:32:23 AM(UTC)
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@ GBS. No, they don't have to give you a verbal warning. They can go straight to paper. I've only seen verbal warnings when management likes you or its a friend or family member. That's why I have always told people to not sign ANYTHING! Would you sign a statement that saids you committed MURDER? NO! OF COURSE NOT! The only time a write-up sticks is if you signed it or you were investigated for the incident, then they would go off the answers you provided in your AFFIDAVIT. I've see alot of BOGUS write-ups thrown out just because they dont want to go threw the process of the INVESTIGATION. Management doesnt wanna look stupid either. Just be aware that you'll be watched and snitched on every chance they get.
For Karn. You are still entitled to a Union Rep even though they are not behind you. If your Union is useless I'd still have a Union Rep present just for a witness. You'll be surprised how management will change their tone when someone else is present. And I'd advise you to educate your self on the Union and your Rights. For Starters look up WEINGARTEN RIGHTS!
grieveit  
#14 Posted : Sunday, April 01, 2012 8:50:09 AM(UTC)
grieveit

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If you elect to have a union rep its doesn't make any difference in mgt discretion of handing out the reprimand, if the union says don't accept it , it still goes in your file with a note as to circumstance.
If you elect not to sign the one just presented the same thing goes management just annotates a memo to your file and i it goes.
Finally what the guy from FDA told you means nothing different agencies have different rules for handling personnel matters. Suggest you apologize and get back to work, you can only make this matter worse not better
trosas9  
#15 Posted : Sunday, April 01, 2012 9:06:20 AM(UTC)
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Yeah ok...The reprimand will go in your file? I highly doubt that! Especially if its not signed. So, I guess what this guy is saying is anyone here could have write-ups in their file without them knowing about it cause it doesnt have to be signed. I HIGHLY DOUBT THAT! If this was the case there would be alot of people getting fired because their SUPERVISORS just not liking them and having sabatoged their file with write-ups. Yeah, easier said than done buddy. Thats why theres a thing called "INVESTIGATIONS". This happens when the employee doesnt sign a write-up because they feel its not true and accurate.
Knight  
#16 Posted : Sunday, April 01, 2012 9:50:26 AM(UTC)
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I have had employees refuse to sign. I just do a note saying they refuse to sign and file it. I even once had the union rep sign the note that she witnessed the refusal to sign. I like having the union rep in the meeting, they are witnesses for both sides.
Knight  
#17 Posted : Sunday, April 01, 2012 9:57:54 AM(UTC)
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http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3495/is_10_51/ai_n27011503/
Quote:
Having been an HR manager for more than 32 years and a business consultant for the past 10 years,...What is important is the documentation, not the employee's signature. If an employee refuses to sign, write on the signature line "employee refused to sign" and date it. If support is needed, ask another management person to sign the document indicating that the employee refused to sign
trosas9  
#18 Posted : Sunday, April 01, 2012 12:11:31 PM(UTC)
trosas9

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I'm not saying that a person in Management can put a piece of paper in someone's file. Anyone can do that. I'm saying it will not "STICK"! Which means when that employee is being reviewed to get fired they are gonna look at those supposed documents and "NOTICE" that they are not signed. Therefore its irrelevant! Doesnt mean anything but a "wanna be half ass attempt" to get someone fired. Enough said...
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