NFFE Praises House for Passing the VA Employee Fairness Act
December 15, 2022
Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE-IAM) praises the U.S. House of Representatives for passing the VA Employee Fairness Act (H.R. 1948). The bipartisan legislation has over 200 cosponsors and allows Title 38 employees at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to have the same collective bargaining rights as other federal employees.
“The healthcare professionals who take care of our nation’s veterans deserve the right to collectively bargain on issues that affect their workplace and their duty of providing medical services their patients,” said NFFE National President Randy Erwin. “It is critical that these front-line workers are allowed to negotiate with management, especially during a time when the VA is dealing with significant staffing and funding issues. This bill will not only help fill thousands of vacancies within the VA, but it will also enhance healthcare coverage for our veterans.”
With collective bargaining rights, Title 38 employees – doctors, dentists, registered nurses, physician assistants, and others – will be permitted to negotiate with management on critical workplace practices affecting patient safety and care, working conditions, peer reviews, and employee pay. Additionally, employees will have authority to report inefficiencies and potential dangerous policies and incidents to management, which was previously not allowed.
“The medical practitioners employed by the VA are the very best healthcare professionals across the United States,” continued Erwin. “They have the expertise and experience to understand the complexities that come with serving our veterans. Because of this, it is critical that they are allowed to share their professional opinions on matters within their facilities and collectively bargain with management. Thank you to Chairman Takano and Senator Brown for their leadership, as well as the hundreds of cosponsors from both parties for their support of our devoted VA professionals. Now, we urge the Senate to consider this legislation and send it to the President’s desk as soon as possible.”