House Veterans Affairs Committee Passes Bill to Give VA Medical Professionals Say on Care, Conditions, Safety & Staffing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 4, 2021
Contact: Steve Lenkart
Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Committee on Veterans Affairs passed the VA Employee Fairness Act (H.R. 1948) that aims to provide Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical professionals and clinicians with the right to provide input over issues of patient care and employment conditions. The bill is sponsored by House VA Committee Chair Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) along with 10 other members of the committee and passed out of committee by a wide margin of 17-11.
“We are absolutely thrilled that the VA Employee Fairness Act moved out of committee today,” stated NFFE National President Randy Erwin. “Over the past four years, VA medical professionals and staff endured incredibly rough and heartbreaking conditions as they struggled to provide care for our nation’s veterans. The last administration threatened, demoted, terminated, and attempted to destroy the reputations of doctors, nurses, and other professionals when they spoke up about patient care and working conditions. If passed into law, this bill will bring transparency back to medical operations at the VA.”
The bill gives VA employees covered under Title 38 authority the right to negotiate over working conditions, patient safety, proper staffing and assignments, special compensation for recruitment and retention, and protection against retaliation for reporting improper care or conditions at the VA.
“The most important part of this bill is that it brings VA patients closer to those who care for them,” Erwin continued. “By giving VA caregivers say over their ability to treat their patients effectively and efficiently, our veterans win. The VA Employee Fairness Act helps the country fulfill its promise to watch over our veterans, and we thank Chairman Takano and the members of the House VA Committee who voted for the same today.”