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Saginaw VA hospital employees stage picket over workplace issues

 Two men picket outside the Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center in Saginaw.
Two men picket outside the Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center in Saginaw. (WJRT)
Published: Mar. 24, 2020 at 5:33 PM EDT
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(3/24/2020) - Inadequate training, racism and preferential treatment were all issues being raised by both a current and former employee at the Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center in Saginaw.

The two men say veterans are being shortchanged by the hospital by not providing the proper mental health training for those answering calls from veterans in the hotline call center.

They also say minority employees are repeatedly passed over for advancement.

The two held a protest in front of the VA hospital on Monday, hoping to spark a change.

The VA released a statement in response, saying in part:

"Without knowing the specific details regarding the mental health hotline call, we can tell you staff who are answering the call-center or switchboard/dispatch phone lines have been trained on how to provide assistance to any Veteran in crisis, which may include other VA professionals talking to with a Veteran or our police Service Staff working with local law enforcement for a personal welfare check. As far as advancement, positions are recruited using a clear posting and application processes to ensure all applicants are equitably treated."