WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The American Federation of Government Employees objects to the proposed legislation by Rep. Jeff Miller regarding bonuses awarded to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employees. The bill was reviewed today at the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs legislative hearing.
"It's time to turn the page on morale-busting measures like Rep. Miller's proposal and focus on the mission of delivering top-quality care to America's veterans," said AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. "We can't forget that it was strong-arm tactics like this that were used to retaliate against employees looking to speak out against secret waitlists and mismanaged care."
With Congress' passage of the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, the focus should remain on ensuring facilities have the staff and resources necessary to provide world-class care to America's veterans. Accountability comes from building a strong culture of transparency and collaboration at the VA with an open, fair and unbiased system; not doubling-down on tools that perpetuate a climate of fear and retaliation.
"The VA needs more vehicles to reward good behavior and attract talented employees, not a cudgel to silence dissenting voices," added Cox. "Secretary McDonald has charted a promising course for the VA, and our veterans will be best served if Congress follows suit and works to improve care and working conditions at the VA."
"We will continue to work with the secretary to advance the core principles of service to our nation's veterans," said AFGE National VA Council President Alma Lee. "Our focus must be on fulfilling the mission of the agency and not on legislation that arbitrarily punishes hard working employees."
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia. AFGE's National Veterans Affairs Council represents 220,000 employees within the Department of Veterans Affairs. For the latest AFGE news and information, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
SOURCE American Federation of Government Employees