Veterans’ Affairs Employee Union Urges Congress to Strengthen Collective Bargaining Rights at VA Hospitals
AFGE Applauds Senator Rockefeller and Representative Filner for Introducing Key Legislation
Sen. Rockefeller and Rep. Filner introduced legislation, S.362 and H.R. 949, clarifying Congress’ clear intent to afford VA health care professionals the same collective bargaining rights enjoyed by their counterparts in military hospitals and Bureau of Prison facilities. “This critical legislation will go a along way to ensure that the VA is a model employer who can compete for the best health care professionals to care for our veterans,” said
Over thirty years ago, Congress recognized the importance of collective bargaining rights when it enacted the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, declaring that collective bargaining rights are in the public interest. Since that time, employees throughout the federal government have utilized collective bargaining to voice concerns about important workplace matters. Congress took action again in 1991 to ensure equal bargaining rights for VA health care professionals by enacting Section 7422 of Title 38. However, over the past six years, the VA has increasingly used this section of the law to directly contradict Congressional intent and deprive these clinicians of the very same rights used every day by their colleagues working side by side with them at the VA, such as pharmacists, social workers, psychologists and licensed practical nurses.
“Collective bargaining rights play a critical role in improving public safety and the quality of public services provided by federal, state, and local governments, including safe air travel, crime control, and safe health care,” said
The American Federation of Government Employees is the largest federal employee union representing 600,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the
SOURCE American Federation of Government Employees