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  • Trump VA 'Firing Bill' Undermines Union Worker Grievance Protections - 05-16-17
    Print Icon May 15, 2017

    By Doug Cunningham

    A Trump backed VA bill making it easier to fire VA workers is being spun by the GOP as real accountability for the Veterans Administration.

    Already passed by the House, the VA Accountability First Act of 2017 undermines and weakens collective bargaining for VA workers, stripping them of real due process grievance procedures.

    Jacque Simon is Policy Director for the American Federation of Government Employees.

    [Jacque Simon]: "All many, many Democrats and Republicans care about is make it easy to fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! That's what it's all about.

    We're hoping that the firing of James Comey for obviously political reasons to cover up wrongdoing or alleged wrongdoing reminds people that that kind of thing goes on at much lower levels as well, if you don't have civil service protections, if you don't have the protection of a union contract."

    The VA bill is being spun as a way to better protect military veterans, but the not so hidden extra agenda in this bill is an attack on VA workers and their due process grievance rights when it comes to firing or other workplace discipline.

    [Jacque Simon]: "The House firing bill for VA workers took away collective bargaining rights altogether. It explicitly prohibited anybody's ability to use the grievance and arbitration provisions of their collective bargaining agreement to appeal a demotion, a suspension, a termination - firing."

    AFGE President David Cox Sr. is testifying before Congress Wednesday on what his union is calling the VA firing bill.

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