While patients await care at Veterans Affairs facilities, hundreds of VA employees are devoting all of their “official” working hours to purely union activities.
This, supposedly to improve veterans’ services, according to David Cox, national president of the American Federation of Government Employees. Mr. Cox and Kim McLeod, VA acting director for labor management relations, have been ordered by a congressional committee to provide documentation showing that official time spent by union workers on union business benefits veterans, The Daily Caller reports.
A recent Government Accountability Office report shows that the VA doesn’t track this time accurately. The VA is working on a new method to record time spent on union activities, the details of which won’t be ready until July — 2018, according to a Stars and Stripes report.
Based on VA records, about 290 employees spent nearly 1.1 million hours in fiscal year 2015 on union activities — although the GAO “has no confidence in those figures,” according to The Daily Caller.
“It sounds like they’re actually working for the taxpayers, working for the veterans, when in fact it’s just the opposite,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.
At a time when the VA is under fire for inordinate wait times — never mind prior accounts of bogus waiting lists — Job One is veterans’ care — period. The union representing VA employees can attend to its business on its own time and dime.
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