Skip to comments.Are Unions the Big Problem at Veterans Affairs?
Posted on 06/02/2014 5:34:30 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Of all possible causes of the Veterans Affairs Departments front-page woes -- corrupt managers, funding shortfalls, an exploding population of veterans, a poor communications culture -- there is one that has drawn perhaps the least attention.
Too many highly paid VA employees spend their time on union organizing, some say. On May 29, Kimberley Strassel devoted her regular column in The Wall Street Journal to an essay titled Big Labors VA Choke Hold: How Democrats put their union allies before the well-being of veterans.
Stating that two-thirds of the VA workforce is unionized, she said, That's a whopping 200,000 union members, represented by the likes of the American Federation of Government Employees and the Service Employees International Union. And this is government-run health care -- something unions know a lot about from organizing health workers in the private sector.
After jabbing the Obama administration for currying favor with unions, Strassel quotes Manhattan Institute scholar Diana Furchtgott-Roths reading of numbers acquired under the Freedom of Information Act from the Office of Personnel Management. The department, the scholar determined, in 2012 paid 258 employees to be 100 percent full-time, receiving full pay and benefits to do only union work. Seventeen had six-figure salaries, up to $132,000. OPM, her summary said, calculated that VA paid for 988,000 hours of "official" time in fiscal 2011, a 23 percent increase increase from 2010.
Asked for a response, J. David Cox Sr., national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, said in an email, Federal unions are not the reason why the Department of Veterans Affairs is facing a crisis over providing healthcare to our nations war heroes.
In fact, we wouldnt even know these problems existed if it wasnt for frontline employees and their union representatives stepping forward to blow the whistle -- and facing serious intimidation and retaliation as a result, he wrote.
What Strassel and other critics of labor unions fail to realize, or refuse to acknowledge, he continued, is that we fight not just for our employees but for the wellbeing of the men and women they serve. AFGE unionized employees have been speaking out for years about the management and performance failings that have only now entered the publics consciousness.
Max Stier, president and CEO of the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service, told Government Executive he has a hard time believing the amount of union official time at VA is significant.
Unions are one of the cancerous metastasis of the corrupt organization called the VA!
When Bernie Sanders said they couldn’t vote on the GOP sponsored VA Accountability bill without having read all 3 pages, unions were my first thought.
The bill would have made it easier to fire incompetents.
FDR was correct in arguing against unions for public employees.
Yes,he did exactly that.Gotta give credit where credit is due.
And with racism, you can multiply all the above exponentially by a factor of 50.
But the real problem is this: the VA is a careerist-oriented department of the bureaucracy, indistinguishable in important respects from any other government bureaucracy.
Example: the recent head of the mental health account for the VA was a career bureaucrat with zero education or experience in mental health. Thus while mental health and PTSD were the largest component of demands for care in the entire VA, the departmental response was in the hands of an ignorant political tool who had no clue.
Socialism is the problem at the VA. Life is meaningless to the socialist. Unions are socialist. BIG GOVERNMENT IS CRONY SOCIALISM. Their agenda/comfort/well-being trumps your life. DISMANTLE the VA. We owe the vets the best doctors and healthcare in the U.S.A. and they should not have to wait. Let them and their families choose.
Start DISMANTLING unaccountable, unaffordable, unsustainable BIG GOVERNMENT.
YES!! The Unions have succeeded in negotiating contracts with the American tax-payer that make it impossible to manage the government bureaucracies. IMO.
Worked for a company that was asked to bid on a contract with a large MI VA Hospital. The person who was assigned to do the work we were bidding on spent all their time doing union work instead of his VA job. The contract specifications, however, were written so that NO ONE could perform to specifications or absorb the costs they wanted to pass on to the contractor. (Reports done for free, etc.) When this was brought to the attention of the VA facility, they merely said they saw no problem with the contract. The work is still not being done and the contract unfilled. No one really cares.
More properly: What human endeavor that has a union or unions involved isn’t screwed up more than human belief? Unions are totally opposed to solving problems and totally devoted to creating problems to the point where they kill their infected host. The harm done by unions just boggles rational thought.
Go to a VA hospital and then go to a big public hospital and look at the emoyees
Tell me what you notice in common.
Its like going to any metro govt office in Deep South
Unions? Or government run?
Protectionist campaign-money-laundering thugs.