Veterans and other groups say veterans care is jeopardized by downgrade of critical medical center support staff
ARLINGTON, Texas, June 11, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hundreds of Veterans Affairs workers, members of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), plan to rally in front of the VISN Headquarters, Wednesday, June 13 at 11:00 a.m. The activists, from health care facilities in more than 4 states, will gather at 2301 East Lamar Blvd., Suite 650, Arlington, Texas to protest what they call unfounded and arbitrary position downgrades of patient support assistants, medical record clerks, transportation assistants and others providing vital support services within the agency. The group says the downgrades are hurting veterans' care. Many of those protesting are themselves veterans.
"VA employees have a target on their back," said AFGE National Vice President Roy Flores and President of the largest VA Local in Dallas, Texas, Donald Burrell. "The agency has spent the past two years devastating the lives of modest wage earners who play a crucial role in supporting medical center functions within the VA."
AFGE is demanding that a moratorium be imposed on the lowering of these critical support positions. The agency has been unable to demonstrate that the lowest paid segment of the VA workforce should be the sole target of classification reviews and has yet to produce any evidence that the downgrades of VA support personnel will improve the functioning of the agency or its ability to serve veterans, according to AFGE.
"These heartless actions are a discriminatory assault on veterans and other VA employees at the bottom of the pay scale," said Burrell. "This nation's public servants and veterans deserve better."
WHO: VA medical support workers and health care professionals from Texas, New Mexico, Mississippi, and Louisiana.
DoD Locals who care about Veterans
WHAT: Will gather to show support for VA employees and call on Congress to force the end to arbitrary and unfair position downgrades of critical support staff at the VA.
WHEN: Wednesday, June 13, 2012; 11:00 a.m.
WHERE: VISN Headquarters
2301 East Lamar Blvd., Suite 650, Arlington, Texas
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 625,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia. AFGE's National Veterans Affairs Council represents 208,000 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