KCVA Community Message-AFGE Local 910 Leadership
Greetings KCVA Community,
On behalf of our AFGE Local 910 partners, I would like to share parting words from the exiting Union President, Chaplain Chris Smith and welcome from incoming Union President, Mr. Justin Youngblood.
Parting words from Chaplain Chris Smith-
It has been an honor and privilege to have served this local for the past 6 years. There have been many changes and challenges here at the KCVA. That will never change, lol. As long as we have each other, to support and advocate for, we will always remain strong and successful. There is not only strength, but power, in our support/union together. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you, in so many capacities. I’ve learned a lot and will be forever be grateful.
As I reflect upon our accomplishments, I want to highlight some of the fond, positive memories that I have; together, we saved many employees their positions, recouped countless hours of overtime compensation, collaborated and partnered with KCVA leadership to compose performance plans that were fair and equitable and recovered significant sums of pay back for our Local 910 Union Members. We advocated tirelessly for step increases, paid overtime, promotions and so much more because you earn and deserve the best that can be provided.
We have built and created positive relationships with most managers, to assist employees in their work space. We have demanded opportunities to bargain and even partnered with the facility to rewrite policies. We have defended EEO concerns in a timely manner and protected our Local 910 members by advocating for their rights. We have teamed up with KCVA executives on multiple occasions to address concerns when other attempts have failed. We have filed Unfair Labor practices and grievances and arbitrations, always to the success of the Local. Together, we have fought to defend your rights, protect you as members and advocate for your successes and satisfaction.
All this to say, the work still remains. I’d like to personally acknowledge and thank the team that has worked alongside of me. Newly elected President Justin Youngblood, Executive Vice President Tiffany Taylor, Title 5 VP Ron Peters, Title 38 VP Ashley Wilson and Secretary/Treasurer Jill Folsom. This team is amazing and I have full confidence that they will continue to fight for you, defending your rights and ensuring your safety. None of this work is accomplished without much sacrifice, this team works early, late and on weekends to make sure that we are a strong Local.
We have grown from under a thousand members to now over 1300 and our membership continues to increase in number. We are one of the largest locals within AFGE. It’s a team effort, each and every one of you play a part. During this Holiday season, and into the New Year, take time to assist each other, protect each other and serve one another. It’s what you/we do best.
Fair Winds and Following Seas,
President Local 910
Welcome and Bio from Mr. Justin Youngblood-
Union Members and employees of the Kansas City VA Medical Center,
My name is Justin Youngblood and I’m from a small town in Georgia. I love the outdoors and I consider myself down to earth. I served in the United States Air Force for 13 years in the MOS Security Forces (Military Police). I have been married to the love of my life for 16 years and counting. We have a 20-year-old daughter, 15-year-old son, and 2 dogs. I’m currently training our new puppy to track deer.
Like I have taught my kids over the years, a person’s core values are of the highest importance. That is the foundation that makes a person who they are in life. I believe in always staying true to yourself and others. I have never had an issue standing my ground on the things I believe in. Actions taken are either RIGHT or WRONG and there are three sides to every story.
Please understand, this is a new Local 910 leadership team. Under my leadership, our approach is less compromising with management and the executive leaders per previous leadership and more enforcement of the values and language included in our Master Agreement that best advocates for your rights.
I’m openly honest to a default; whether it’s something a person wants to hear or not. I would rather a person be direct with me than not. With that being said, I am human, I make mistakes and I don’t know everything there is to know. I’m dedicated to serving the members and employees of the KCVA to the best of my abilities. We spend most of our lives working to provide for our families that we never really get to see. I want to help make our environment here the best it can be. I can’t do it without each and every one of you. Let’s make this hospital the best place for YOU and our VETERANS!
Lastly, I want to announce that I have invited Ms. Jill Folsom, AFGE Local 910 Secretary and Treasurer, to our upcoming December Employee Town Hall to give a presentation about AFGE Local 910. Jill will discuss an introduction to the Union, describe local benefits available to our Union members, preview our Local 910 leadership group and a summary of the Master Agreement. Until that presentation, I want to ensure that we’re sharing helpful Union resources to our staff and organization:
- AFGE National Webpage
- AFGE Local 910 Webpage
- [VA-AFGE-2023-Master-Agreement.pdf (afgenvac.org)]VA & AFGE’s Master Agreement
- A recent AFGE Local 910 Newsletter is attached for your convenience.
Paula Roychaudhuri, FACHE
Interim Medical Center Director
Kansas City VA Medical Center
4801 Linwood Blvd
Kansas City, Missouri 64128
O (816) 861-4700 ext 52048 / C (816) 812-7151