Veterans Affairs has 346 workers who do only union work. Perhaps it's time to for the VA to be run by veterans.

Posted by NealS 3 years, 5 months ago to Government
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An estimated 346 employees in the Department of Veterans Affairs do no actual work for taxpayers. Instead, they spend all of their time doing work on behalf of their union while drawing a federal salary, a practice known as "official time."
SOURCE URL: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/veterans-affairs-has-346-workers-who-do-only-union-work/article/2621385?cmp=1


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  • Posted by Eyecu2 3 years, 5 months ago
    Anytime anyone actually looks into what the Government does there will be ridiculous things uncovered and that is to be expected. The horrible part is when those things are uncovered and then allowed to go unchanged. If there is someone working for a different organization (in this case a Union) then the appropriate adjustment would be to make the Union cover that persons salary and benefits. I personally do not like Unions but far be it from me to deny someone the right to choose to belong to one.
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  • Posted by Wgingram 3 years, 5 months ago
    WE Veterans gave our time and risked our lives and some of us spilled our blood for our country and should be in charge of the VA (As it once was).
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  • Posted by mia767ca 3 years, 5 months ago
    if you want to see how ObamaCare would look like in the future....look at the VA or look at medical care in the Soviet Union...

    end the VA
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    • Posted by 3 years, 5 months ago
      Now, I'm the one who questions any suggestion of ending VA Medical. Being a Vietnam combat veteran I get to use it, it's my best alternative (for me personally and my selfishness (it's practically free except for some minor co-pays). If something better (& free [for me]) comes along then I can agree to end it. Most of us vote for our personal and best family benefit, or at least what we perceive as our best benefit. Some of us are at least willing to listen to alternatives, but some of us are just too ignorant (and dumb) to listen at all, facts mean nothing, rhetoric is everything. That is called politics. Take the politics out of healthcare, turn it back over to free enterprise, and it will eventually work out for everyone. Doctors will still be paid slightly more than plumbers (well maybe not plumbers), but at least slightly more than electricians. Just my opinion, I could be wrong.
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      • Posted by 3 years, 5 months ago
        I forgot to mention, another solution to the healthcare issue. Just make doctors and healthcare workers work for free, make them all volunteers. I won't tell you where that idea came from.
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  • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 3 years, 5 months ago
    You might want to stop and think about how you would arrange and organize the daily work of a government office. The private sector is typically a good model, but has certain drawbacks when it comes to public service.

    In the past, political appointment meant a new gravy train with each election. If there is a job that cannot be done by a Democrat, get rid of the job, said Andrew Jackson. Changing the name of the party does not solve that problem. The solution was civil service with jobs allocated to those who pass a qualifying examination on relevant skills. That, too, has been famously abused, as when high-ranking political appointees were transferred to civil service jobs. So, there is no perfect system, but some are better than others.

    The reason that the VA employees are union members is rooted in the egregious treatment they received in the past. Otherwise civil service would have been sufficient protection.

    We know about the horrible treatment of veterans by the VA. Do you suppose they treat their employees any better? The problem is not rank-and-file versus rank-and-file; it is top management versus the customers (internal and external). Remember, also, that while we might like to blame President Obama or President Clinton (or even President Bush), the VA answers to Congress, which controls its budget. And your Congressional representative works for you. Have you written or called?
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    • Posted by 3 years, 5 months ago
      My representatives are from the democratic party, I did not vote for them. And yes, I have written them on several occasions, only to be either totally ignored, or responded to by getting a form letter explaining how the program I am complaining about is so great for all Americans.

      One perfect example is the Federally mandated DNC (Do Not Call) List. I've registered, verified my registration, still get tons of calls from those I've asked not to call, filed complaints, got no response. I've written to my Senators, both of them, several times, telling them that I've filed complaints and still nothing happens. I've only received a nice form letter back from one of them telling me what a great program the DNC List is and how I should file a complaint. The other one continues to ignore me. Apparently somehow they know I didn't vote for them, even though my vote is supposed to be private. I'm starting to wonder if they keep our voting records in that big data base and make it available to our representatives.

      I'm not sore, upset, or crazy, I'm just old and getting tired of politics and politicians. And I'm also a Vietnam combat veteran. I'm starting to feel I should have a few more entitlements too, like getting a real answer from my representatives. The VA actually treats me pretty well now that I've moved form Seattle to the Spokane area. In fact I just got word they are letting me go to civilian specialist because after a couple of years of trying they "don't have the expertise" to treat whatever I've got (difficulty breathing).
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      • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 3 years, 5 months ago
        Thank you for your service.
        2. Glad to hear that you are getting the medical care you need.
        3. How we get along with our elected representatives and other government officials can be highly variable. I have no easy suggestions that do not sound fatuous, but communicating with difficult people is an art.
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  • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 3 years, 5 months ago
    Official time is part of many union contracts. It can be a company's choice for many reasons. So, it overspills into the public sector, of course. As for the other claim, that the VA should be run by veterans, some would still be assigned to "official work" of an HR nature. It takes seven behind the lines to support one up front.

    All of that being as it may, your deepest assumption on this point is well made. If you go to a hardware store, or a fabric store, an airport tower, or a SCUBA shop, you will find that you could pretty much take the customers and make them providers.

    As for the VA (from 2010): "VA has the largest percentage of Veteran employees among civilian agencies -- approximately 30 percent -- and is increasing its number of regional employment coordinators to give Veterans more access to VA jobs." -- https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/press...
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    • Posted by $ allosaur 3 years, 5 months ago
      A requirement of a some USA military should become a hiring requirement at the VA.
      That's the only way draftee me could get a full time "semiretired" Wackenhut security guard job for several months before I jumped ship to work for a better paying competitor.
      Me dino can afford to be fully retired now. And I am for being selfishly loyal to myself.
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