NFFE Submits Testimony for VA Hearing and Endorses Reintroduction of VA Employee Fairness Act


Contact: Matt Dorsey
Phone: 202-550-6987

March 22, 2024

Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) is calling on Congressional leaders to pass two pieces of legislation that would expand collective bargaining rights to healthcare clinicians at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). On Thursday, NFFE submitted a statement for the record to the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, which held a hearing to discuss pending legislation, including the VA Correct Compensation Act (H.R. 6538). This bill would allow Title 38 VA employees to file grievances over compensation issues due to payroll errors.

“H.R. 6538 is a simple, bi-partisan fix to an easily resolvable issue within the VA,” the testimony stated. “The legislation will help with recruitment and retention of world-class healthcare professionals, at a time when the VA is facing significant challenges with vacancies and attrition. The VA Correct Compensation Act ensures that proud VA employees are properly compensated for the essential services they provide to our nation’s veterans.”

NFFE also endorses the VA Employee Fairness Act, which was reintroduced on Thursday. This legislation would repeal current law that prevents Title 38 employees from collectively bargaining over compensation, peer-review, and matters of professional conduct or competence. In addition, the bill allows VA employees to advocate for better working conditions, improving patient care and increasing the VA’s competitiveness for attracting and retaining the country’s top medical professionals.

“The dedicated nurses, physicians, physician assistants, dentists, and other clinicians serving within the VA deserve the same rights as their fellow healthcare providers in the civil service,” said NFFE National President Randy Erwin. “The exclusion of Title 38 employees from the ability to collectively bargain on key topics prevents VA facilities from fulfilling their critical mission of providing the very highest standard of care for our nation’s heroes. Without a way to bring the issues affecting veterans’ healthcare to the bargaining table for discussion, the quality of care that veterans receive suffers. The VA Employee Fairness Act will not only help fill thousands of vacancies within the VA, but it will also enhance healthcare coverage for our veterans. Thank you to Senator Brown and the many original cosponsors for their leadership in this important issue.”