Mandatory overtime. Targeted enforcement of vague policies. Inappropriate work duty assignments. Enormous staff turnover.
Those are just some of the allegations Robert Robinson, a union official representing workers at the Ohio Veterans Home, made in a letter to state officials earlier this year.
The union is not demanding pay raises, extended sick leave or any other benefit extensions. Rather, Robinson wants a performance audit into how the home is run and how it can be improved.
We hope state officials and the management team at the Veterans Home hear his call and honor it, for whatever else is wrong there, it's clear there's a fundamental disconnect between management and workers of all types.
Robinson alleged a hostile work environment exists at the home, and the fear some union members have about listening devices and secret cameras is a symptom of the rift that has emerged between labor and management.
The management team has an absolute responsibility to create a working, viable relationship with its labor force, and the complaints from Robinson indicate it has failed to do that.
OVH administrators have acknowledged staff shortages in some positions have required an extensive use of the mandatory overtime stipulation in the union contract, which union officials say puts an enormous burden on the workers who still hold those positions.
The contract allows it, but just because they can doesn't mean managers should demand 16-hour shifts. They said steps have been taken to correct the situation, and we hope that is but a first step.
The labor force is on the front line in caring for veterans at the home, and that fact alone demands that managers treat workers with the respect they deserve.