NFFE Urges Congress to Vote on the VA Employee Fairness Act
September 27, 2022
Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE-IAM) is urging Congress to vote on and pass the VA Employee Fairness Act of 2021 (H.R. 1948/S. 771), legislation that now has over 200 bipartisan cosponsors in the House of Representatives. Introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA), the bill ensures that Title 38 employees with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs have the same collective bargaining rights as other federal employees.
“The nurses, doctors, dentists, and physician assistants who care for our veterans deserve the right to collectively bargain,” said NFFE National President Randy Erwin. “At a time when the VA is strained with staffing and funding issues, it is critical that these front-line workers have a voice in their workplace. This legislation will improve healthcare coverage for our veterans and help fill the thousands of vacancies at the VA.”
Without collective bargaining rights, Title 38 employees are restricted from negotiating with management on significant workplace practices related patient safety and care, working conditions, peer-reviews, and employee pay. Further, the limitations prevent employees from reporting inefficiencies or potentially dangerous policies and incidents to management.
“The healthcare professionals serving at the VA are the best practitioners this country has to offer,” continued President Erwin. “They understand the complex and often unique needs of our nation’s veterans. Because of this, they absolutely should have the right to voice their professional opinions on the state of their workplaces and bargain collectively with management. The VA Employee Fairness is a critical bill that Congress must pass to provide the best care for our veterans. 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 dedicated VA professionals.”