Trump Hiring Freeze Lifted But VA Will Not Fill 4,000 New Positions

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Trump Hiring Freeze

Despite the lifting of the Trump hiring freeze, the Department of Veterans Affairs will not fill 4,000 vacant positions previously created.

According to The Associated Press, VA has chosen to leave 4,000 vacant positions unfilled. The agency says it needs to create a “leaner VA” as it develops a longer-term plan. That plan is aimed at allowing more veterans to seek private sector medical care.

Approximately 4,000 of the positions are attributable to the Veterans Health Administration. The other positions are allocated as following:

  • 200 Veterans Benefits Administration
  • 400 VA Information Technology (IT)
  • 100 Human Resources

It is important to note the Government Accountability Office has admonished VA for its failure to appropriately staff positions in IT and human resources.

The move is an apparent drawdown of the workforce, and positions will only be filled if approved by top VA leadership where an “absolute critical need” is identified.

The nature of the plan is described in an April 14 memorandum obtained by The Associated Press.

Is this a sign VA is implementing a Trump directive to reduce its workforce, which will have a negative impact on benefits allocations and usage by veterans?

While VA is one of three agencies slated for a budget increase, is the agency also gearing up for long-term cutbacks that will ultimately reduce benefits payouts in the near future?

I called out the federal government and VA on April 6 following insider reports that the agency was working with The Big Six veteran organizations to draw down VA by up to 20 percent. Allegedly, a deal was struck behind the scenes to make it happen with little resistance from The Big Six.

RELATED: Lawyers, Veterans Should Be Nervous About Upcoming VA Cuts

One of the many mechanisms to cut an agency’s budget is to reduce the workforce or refuse to hire new staff to fill positions. Another is to reduce overtime. And still another is to gum up a process using bureaucratic maneuvering to wrongfully deny claims.

My point is that there are many ways to skin a cat, and if the ultimate goal is to draw down the size of the federal government, the goal can be accomplished through employment.

Two weeks ago, Fox News reported the White House demanded that all agencies draw down their size (whatever that means). Instead of using a hiring freeze to reduce the size of the federal government, the White House now simply demands cutbacks to include hiring.

It sounds like VA was not excused from that process by at least drawing down the size of its workforce.

So, even though the hiring freeze was lifted, was it really lifted? How will VA’s refusal to fill key positions help it do its job?

Or, is the move aimed at forcing the federal government to fail in key areas to then justify further privatization including within VA?

Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/thousands-jobs-remain-unfilled-trump-va-article-1.3103936

OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

leaner. for bigger bonuses

namnibor
namnibor

Bingo!

Lem
Lem

Gotta let some private contracts at twice the cost to pay off political debts.

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran
Seems fairly easy to me. We, as veterans of our nation’s wars – – – currently have FAR LESS privileges and legal rights and protections than the average illegal immigrant. We are about to take it in the shorts again. That is how it will play out over time. Really want to fix the VA, and give veterans who have honorably served their just due, Mr. President? Here is a 7-Step program to accomplish that: 1. Expedite implementing the HOLMAN… Read more »
Windguy
Windguy
Trump has an opportunity to pull a Reagan when he fired the Air Traffic Controllers union, e.g. de-certify the AFGE union. But that only happens if he truly wants to fix the VA. But, it looks like he’s headed toward giving it all to Pig Pharma and Pig Med. Those mortar forkers nearly drove uninsurable me bankrupt, so I trundled into the loving arms of VA HealthCare…. I also tried to hide from the draft by enlisting.
Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran
@Windguy – – – Agreed. I was a draft dodger as well. I earned the title Marine in order to avoid the draft. Later I became a sailor. Was having so much fun – – – I woke up one day and realized that I was just about to begin my retirement enlistment . . . Had we the mobile video technology back in the ’70’s and ’80’s – – – I would be doing “Bizarre Foods”. Cause Zimmern ain’t… Read more »
Crazy elf
Crazy elf
Let me see if I got this straight. The VA is to reduce it’s workforce. Yet, is receiving MORE taxpayers monies for this year! Can anyone see the illogicality of this? I see bonuses in the very near future for all VA employees! I also see where the additional monies will be possibly going into upper management’s pockets! Could this “increase of taxpayers monies” make its way into AFGE’s reprobates pockets? They are the most corrupt union in the United… Read more »
Windguy
Windguy

Pig Pharma and Pig Med have arisen. The gates to unlimited billing have been opened, and the path sprinkled with rose petals and ten million more “accounts”. Give them five years and the costs to government will be too high, and we’ll have to pay monthly premiums and higher deductibles. Just watch. The money changers have spoken.

Sillyme
Sillyme
For me, I have responded to many of these stories and my answer is always the same, though not in so many words. This time, i’ll be blunt and go for the jugular: THE VA IS A CRIMINAL ORGANIZATION, THOUGH NOT AT ALL ORGANIZED. SHUT THE VA DOWN. AND RESTART IT USING ENLISTED MILITARY VETERANS TO RUN THE VA IN ITS ENTIRETY. PUTTING NAMED SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AIRMEN, AND MARINES IN SENIOR POSITION AS BEING FORMER OFFICERS HAS PROVEN TO BE… Read more »
Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran
@SillyMe – – – Agreed 100%. As former career enlisted who was cheated out of their retirement due to a clerical error – – – then forced by the VA to pay back my Disability Severance Pay, while being denied my PROPER EARNED benefits – – – I have some tried and true methods that will get the Honolulu VA squared away in record time. Many of the current employees will be in a state of MCRD “Yellow-Footprint” shock. One… Read more »
Rick b
Rick b

Disgruntled Veteran ‘

Really and just how do you unfuck something?

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran
Well – – – We start by ignoring “Troll Questions”. There have been many posters, not to mention Big Ben himself who have put forth many ideas that would work. This is how we unfuck the VHA side of things. Pay attention. 1. Expedite implementing the HOLMAN RULE. 2. Recognize the problems inherent in the VA are SYSTEM-WIDE, not just limited to a few locations. 3. Fire all the Lazy No Good Workers. Fire EVERY single AFGE/SES Employee. 4. Sell… Read more »
MK
Well the GOP/Bush/Cheney KBR/Black Water set up the Privatizing of the Military where you have for example Private soldiers Protecting Diplomats, Privatizing Dining Facilities, Privatizing Laundry Svc, Privatizing Transportation, Privatizing Intel, Privatizing Communications, etc. Now, here comes Trump led by hand-picked Board Members of the Koch Bros. w/ BVA who are pushing Privatizing MORE of the VA by Using the Cut Backs as a reason to Give the Poor Vets more Options= more Confusion when it comes to the VA.… Read more »
Dennis
Dennis
Let’s see what the options are here… First of all vets are getting maimed, experimented on, retaliated against, wrongfully denied property owed, neglected, and mistreated by an out of control federal agency called VA. This has been documented for several lifetimes of men, multiple presidencies, and uncountable tales of misconduct and malpractice. We can either hire more folks to perpetrate and strengthen the organization as it is thereby not allowing it to wilt on the vine, OR we can stop… Read more »
Jo3n
@Crazy elf, It’s like a big F**k You to everyone, we will do like we’ve always done. It’s, “that”, action that’s killing veterans. They received the millions of dollars to hire and blatantly they put it in their pockets. We all see the problems. See if Murphy will do us a freebie, and deliver a letter from Ben to the press. The right ones in office don’t hear us, or they do. Guess I will try to find an ear.… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor
The VA maintains a broken system with tons of $$$$ in order to keep the $$$$$ for their own means, not the very Veterans they are supposedly there to serve and assist. Serve and Assist. Self-serving with assistance of forklifts to move an engorged purple team member from one hallway to another after greasing-up the hallways. The VA has belligerently and obstinately refused to hire the VA Human Resources [ersonnel that would potentially in-turn hire the rest of the pack… Read more »
W2 Team Leader
W2 Team Leader
I’m reposting this again because I want to get the message out to as many people as possible about the discriminatory Disney resort that is shades of green. Off topic but important.. So there is a military ran Disney resort I discovered while searching for a summer vacation to take my family to. It’s called shades of green. I was really excited about it until I read into it further. There website states that you are only eligible if you… Read more »
Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly
I know how you feel W2. Had a place where I use to go and bring others to forget there troubles and commune with nature. It provided easy access for anyone disabled to fish and always filled a stringer every time I went. I brought other veterans and people who, like myself, were disabled. It was truly amazing to see the change in people each time I took them there, usually in a group of four or less. For most… Read more »
Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

In other words they took about a $1.5 Million county park and turned it into another for profit business for the VFWs as a Camping and resort built and funded through grants and donations claiming it was to be used to assist Veterans.

Another Fricken rip-off claiming to help veterans.
The VFWs just built a new post with taxpayer and donor money in the name of Veterans.

Needless to say I don’t show anyone my other fishing holes.

91Veteran
91Veteran
I asked a guy I know about this, and he said when Trumps hiring freeze was lifted, it was lifted for almost all positions other than some clerical people, but even that has since been lifted. Without seeing more detail on the positions not being filled, I can’t tell whether these positions need to be filled or if there is some other reason for not filling them…such as drawing down a federal agency as you said Ben. 200 Veterans Benefits… Read more »
Ex va
Ex va

The reason i saw the upper/mid managers of service lines not fill positions is so they could have the unspent salary dollars to spend on anything allegedly linked to Veterans/patient care and that was a subjective decision. That could be a $200.00 lamp for their desks made of solid cherry, conference education weekends, and themselves. Educational trips to improve or accentuate their education/degrees. They didn’t want to hire more doctors/ pa’s/np’s/providers. That was my experience.

91Veteran
91Veteran
Off topic, but did anyone else see this story about a female Army vet tying her service dog to a tree and shooting him 5 times while her and her active duty Army boyfriend video taped it? This article seems to have the most detail on what happened: “http://popularmilitary.com/exclusive-owner-dog-slain-veteran-soldier-speaks-really-happened/” While most of the other articles hit some of the details. “https://www.armytimes.com/articles/army-vet-and-special-ops-soldier-boyfriend-charged-with-shooting-her-service-dog” Most of the articles I see seem to highlight she was an Army vet with PTSD…which I believe is… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor

Those Veterans need to each be adorned with some of Lady Gaga’s meat dresses and dropped into a pen with a -5- of salivating canines. A canine for each bullet.

Humans can be such horrific animals, Veterans aside, PTSD or not, that’s sociopathic/borderline personality disorder, the ingredients of some of the best serial killers.

People can really suck. This dog story tragedy raised the hair on my back. (sasquatch siting) 🙂

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

that is fricken bizarro shit. It is strait up personality disorders mixed with drugs and alcohol not ptsd.

91Veteran
91Veteran
Seymore, the only way I can see her having PTSD was if she was sexually assaulted while on her tour in Korea as a Multimedia Illustrator. But then her history of domestic violence before joining the Army suggests she had mental health problems before joining. One article I read said she was separated from the military administratively, another said she was medically retired. Another article said she received 80% disability for her PTSD, without saying if that was military or… Read more »
-.-. .---
-.-. .---

Let me have the two of them. I promise I can re-habili….oh who am I kidding? I just want to try out my new ball peen hammer.

namnibor
namnibor

I’d also like to see if my dad’s sledge hammers are still accurate in their terminal velocity. 🙂 *PEEN* **SLEDGE** *PEEN* **SLEDGE** ~WHACK~

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

The VA will use any video or article to show how veterans are sick deranged individuals, when given the opportunity!
On the other hand, any video or article that will show the VA in a bad light is always “censored”!

We all know this is true!

The question is, “How can this be turned around in the veterans favor?

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly
Hey Elf, You asked a very important question. “The question is, “How can this be turned around in the veterans favor?” The simple answer is truth. Each and every week day that Ben post a new article we come here and discuss it in the comment section. We also share sometimes totally unrelated info about things going on in the Veterans world. Also each day in the following us section you can see the numbers grow as to the number… Read more »
Jo3n

Let’s see; VA offers budget. Were these 4,000 jobs in the budget? That’s upward of, thirty million dollars. How much of what the VHA asks for, goes to what they ask for? The entire VA is so broken. All I can do anymore when I read VA crap is bow my head and find a moment of silence.

Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly
Honestly with Shulkin’s hiring, firing and promotion practices, I believe the hiring freeze is a good thing. His hiring practices show a willfulness to hire people who are wholly inadequate to do the jobs they are hired for and in some cases the people hired have their own agendas that include failure of programs at the VA. His promotion practices show a clear “planned path to failure” within departments. His firing practices show a clear targeting of whistle blowers and… Read more »
Tony
Tony

Everything you say is exactly correct. Do you work for VA? You have the knowledge of an insider.

Jo3n
@SeymoreKlearly, think I finally spelled name right. You’ve always posted very accurately. I’m not a leader. Y’all are easier to learn from than any other sites. So, bottom line is, Shulkin’s self serving, Isaacson is just loud, Senate can’t gather support, Trump’s influence is questionable, and then, the VA won’t follow the law anyway. Sounds like the VA is getting worse. Oh well, another promise. I’m sorry for what so many Veterans who bear the suffering and pain and the… Read more »
Tony (previously known as Dawn)
Tony (previously known as Dawn)

That’s exactly it.

-.-. .---
-.-. .---

One more time, for good old snakes………….FUCK THE VA!

?ex va
?ex va

-.-. .—, ROFL!!! thank you for the comment!!!? ??

-.-. .---
-.-. .---

@EX VA: Ex, hows you tonight?

Ex va
Ex va

-.-. .—, Doing better, storms all night. Finally quit. Dogs acted up.

?ex va
?ex va

-.-. .—, How is your dog doing? Everything ok up there?

?ex va
?ex va

Storms messed up my satellite, no e-mail, no internet, no television. Power problems too for two days.

Dysfunctional Doc
Dysfunctional Doc

Hire more and compitent people to work on the Appeals backlog and regional offices on remand’s .Damn 9 years on a claim ? Three years since remand from court of veterans Appeals ?

fubar
fubar

Amen to that, brutha. I’m on year 7 now. By chance, does anyone know if you die if your dependents have a right to continue the fight and obtain any compensation that was due?

Dawn
Dawn

Yes, they do.

Dawn
Dawn

As VA and VHA, as a part of VA, has proven it cannot or will not provide minimally adequate care for veterans, I think this reduction is good. I believe VA is incapable of performing its mission due to an immutable unethical culture. Putting more people into into a badly led/managed organization only creates a larger badly led/managed organization. Dissolution is the only solution.

namnibor
namnibor

@Dawn– “[Dissolution is the only solution.]”

A resounding AMEN to that!

Crazy elf
Crazy elf
Today, 27 Apr 2017, POTUS will sign the “executive order” – (trying to) “hold VA employees accountable and protecting Whistleblowers!” (paraphrasing)! From: “Military.com/Daily News” dated: 27 April 2017 Titled; “Trump to Sign Order Creating Accountability Office at VA” Associated Press | by Darlene Superville. From the article: Quote; “Shulkin said the purpose is to help identify “barriers” that make it difficult to fire or reassign employees deemed unfit to work at the department and serve veterans!” The only “barriers” I… Read more »
Stuck in the Middle with Myself
Stuck in the Middle with Myself
Agitated, trust factor with people hard to measure, suspicious of others and their intentions, losing more sleep, loud noises makes me jump and causes a rush of adrenaline, housebound and feel like a pent up animal, can’t get refreshed, body aches with deep soreness from muscle spasms, lack of concentration, hard to think of the words to clearly express the thoughts that are in my mind, myself, feeling weak and at times struggling to be balanced, low cravings from favorite… Read more »
namnibor
namnibor
@Stuck In T he Middle By Myself- You are NOT alone, brother/sister/survivor. I am in basically the same shoes with indifferent family and my Veteran best friends have been more or less killed-off by the VA’s direct or indirect negligence, all in last 7 years or so, but I do have a cat…maybe not the same as an official service dog, but I suggest you adopt a shelter pet, engage in hobbies, music, journal, whatever you enjoyed in past but… Read more »
Seymore Klearly
Seymore Klearly

Stuck,

You need to seek help outside of the VA.

Also if you are physically able you need to get out and walk your dog for an hour each and every day.

The VA meds are your ticket to Bye Bye land. You need to seek help outside of the VA and get you off those meds.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf
@”Stuck” Seymore and namnibor gave some really great suggestions. Here’s something I find helps. Especially when I’m in that “Cabin Fever” mode. Do you live in an area where there’s NO ONE close to you? #1.) If yes, go outside and scream – let your aggressions go! #2.) If NO, when you walk your “service dog”, find a secluded area and use suggestion #1 as a “release of anger and frustrations!” I do this a few times a month. It… Read more »
NiteWish
NiteWish

Stuck in the Middle with Myself, Its difficult to learn how to live with yourself but it can be done. Figure out if your canine will work for treats or toys or plain affection. Sadly you’re not alone, Hang in there.

Ex va
Ex va
@Stuck in the Middle with Myself, sorry you are suffering. I can feel your pain and frustration in what you wrote. The other Veterans gave you some good advice and you are not alone. I have felt that same frustration dealing with the va, society and my family. I came to realize that I cannot solve my problems all at once and can only deal with them one at a time. Do not lump all your problems into a pile… Read more »
Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran
@Stuck in the Middle with Myself – – – I have a veteran buddy who has a lot in common with you. I am going to e-mail him, and steer him to your posting. We’ll see what he has to say . . . I think the two of you could help each other. Welcome Aboard. There are many on this board that will offer suggestions. Seymore, Namnibor, Jo3n, Ex va, cj, Crazy elf, and Dennis are all worth listening… Read more »
OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

Stuck in the Middle with Myself ..if you don’t mind me asking where do you live

Dennis
Dennis
@Stuck Lolz I think I have cancelled my phone number four times in as many years. I simply never got the knack of enjoying myself around people. In small doses it works out ok, but severe PTSD is not just a name for a mythical dilemna. It is a set of symptoms that take it or leave it has been guiding my path for decades. Even after decades I also still feel stuck in moments long past that force their… Read more »
OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

DENNIS I like that ( move a muscle and change a thought). you are absolutely right

OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE
Sherman Gillums April 6, 2017 at 3:56 pm I guess I understand the meaning of “fake news” after reading this article. Under no circumstance did Paralyzed Veterans of America — nor would we — negotiate budget cuts in VA. In fact, we’ve staunchly advocated for an increase in clinical staff, infrastructure repairs at spinal cord injury centers, expansion of benefits for caregivers, and accessible travel options for our members, all of which require more money, not less. To cite rumors… Read more »
Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran

@OLDMARINE – – – He must be “New Corps” AKA “Spin Corps”. You and I came up through the “Old Corps” AKA the “Thanks, Sir” or “Guilty As Charged. No excuse, Sir – – Corps.

Then we learned quickly from our mistakes – – – took our punishments – – and moved on.

Semper Fi to you, Sir.

OLDMARINE
OLDMARINE

and Semper Fi to you, also Sir. and never give up the battle until your dead.. its to easy just to give up

NiteWish
NiteWish
No need to hire VA can get free labor from the high schools & train them the way they want them. Have you seen this: called Secondary Options sent out by Palo Alto VA today. High school students with special needs get to gain work experience in various areas of the hospital in positions under IT, clinical services, research labs, tracking the weight of Veterans for the Home Telehealth program etc…. Who else is enthusiastically working for VA we have… Read more »
Cantigny
Cantigny
@Ben: >> Another is to reduce overtime. And still another is to gum up a process using bureaucratic maneuvering to wrongfully deny claims. VA has taught & rewarded their employees to be specialists at “wrongfully denying claims”. they pride themselves on it. their lawyers at Central Office used to brag about it openly. VA will control the purse to pay civilian doctors thereby controlling what that doctor can and cannot write on reports i suspect. for many of us, it… Read more »
Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran

Here is an interesting article from the Washington Examiner:
“http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/veterans-affairs-has-346-workers-who-do-only-union-work/article/2621385”

Of course, we all knew or suspected this – – – but I am surprised that the number is so low.

Crazy elf
Crazy elf

Disgruntled Veteran
That number could be just in that one district.
I would guarantee you that number is significantly higher!

Disgruntled Veteran
Disgruntled Veteran

@elf – – – Yeah. I had that thought as well. After my first two weeks of reading this blog, not too much surprises me anymore. But I must say THAT number did. I was thinking possibly a misprint? System-wide, 39,600 would seem to me to be a more viable number . . .

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