In a “disgusting” propaganda video, an AFGE union official tries to tie the present move to curb “official time” as an attack against benefits like veterans preference.

I received a link to the union video embedded here with a comment calling the propaganda piece a complete joke and an insult to the intelligence of VA employees and veterans, alike.

The spokesperson in the video claims “official time” has protected veteran hiring through veterans’ preference and even expedited the processing of benefits claims.

What is “official time”? That is the time VA allows its employees to work on union issues while earning their paycheck from Uncle Sam.

Of course, if you believed what this AFGE video says, you would think it was some creation of God from Mount Sinai comparable to the 10 Commandments. But last I checked, J. David Cox is certainly no Moses.

What planet was AFGE was on when they created this video, anyway? Since when did AFGE protect Veterans Preference?

Last I checked, VA hiring of veterans in jobs other than “janitor” is a complete joke. As you can tell by watching the video, the assertions in it are so loopy, I thought I would ask my favorite VA whistleblowers to comment.

VA Whistleblowers On AFGE Union Propaganda

“The statement about Vet Preference in hiring is a joke,” said Shea Wilkes, a well-known VA whistleblower, veteran and union member. “Hiring practices at VA are manipulated at every level. I’ve never seen the union fight for Vet Preference.

Wilkes went on to point out that VA has even contracted away Veterans’ Preference in contract negotiations with the union, “In fact Veterans get 2nd Preference over current VA employees, which is in the union’s contract with VA.”

On position types, VA tends to shy away from hiring educated veterans while instead allocating low-level jobs like “janitor” or “clerk” with regularity.

“The problem lies in the fact that the vast majority of vet employees at VA hold food service, janitorial, and clerk type positions,” said Brandon Coleman, a disabled veteran turned counselor who exposed wrongdoing at Phoenix VA. “The more educated we get the numbers drop dramatically.”

The overall tone and message of the video is most concerning.

Coleman called the video “disgusting” and a typical example of “how AFGE manipulates veteran sentiment to further its own agenda”.

Social worker Germaine Clarno, another well-known whistleblower, said the spin job was typical of AFGE propaganda, “They are no different than the VA – – masters at spinning the truth.”

Union Capitalizing On Positive Veteran Sentiment

Personally, I am tired of AFGE burying itself in the flag and capitalizing on positive sentiment for America’s veterans while cutting us off at the knees when we seek jobs that do not require pushing a broom or counting beans like a clerk.

At VA, we have a lot of veterans who are “Yes” men at the top. These are usually career officers cashing in for a second pension.

Then, the other lot is caught pushing brooms.

Not all veterans fit this mold, and I am pleased to say I am working with a few high level veterans turned VA executives who are pushing to get more high performing veterans into places of authority within the agency.

But that is certainly not with the help of AFGE.

Comment On AFGE Facebook Page

I encourage you all to take a look at the video and provide your comment on the AFGE official Facebook page. It is important they know that we know what shameful games they are playing to justify “official time.”

AFGE Union Transcript

Taking away official time is union busting, plain and simple.

Official time is a vital tool used by employees and management used to address workplace issues quickly and amicably.

Through official time, we have:

Protected veterans’ preference in hiring, prevented discrimination against veterans with PTSD, and expediting the processing of benefits for veterans and their families.

At the VA, official time is used to improve qualify of care, it empowers and protects employees who blow the whistle on issues big and small that reduce quality of care.

If Congress eliminates official time, taxpayers will foot the bill for lengthy and costly litigation to address issues that are handled internally at far less cost. 

VA employees are passionate about their mission, which makes sense since 33% of VA employees are veterans themselves.

Eliminating official time will not help a single veteran get better or faster quality care, but in fact could lead to the opposite, by distracting employees and management from doing their jobs.

Instead of wasting taxpayer dollars on anti worker actions, Congress should work on filling the 45,000 vacant positions at VA. And reducing the layers of management so that VA can use those resources to hire thousands more direct care providers.

What’s Up With That?

What do you think of the assertions in the video? Are these accurate claims or more spin intended at distorting the accomplishments of the union while ripping off taxpayers who fund “official time” to begin with?

If “official time” was really accomplishing its intended goals, would we still have such a whistleblower retaliation problem?

And what about the assertion that “official time” has resulted in processing veterans benefits claims faster? Excuse me?

Last I checked, there was a claims backlog and an appeals backlog, all within the past decade and both of which are still problems today.

Thank God for “official time” though, whatever it is being used for.

Be sure to go to the official Facebook page for this video at the following link and comment to let AFGE know what you really think: https://www.facebook.com/afgeunion/videos/10155280179739770/

Disgruntled Veteran

Following.

baron

even as a psychologist you don’t get veteran preference protections, so any privileged citizen with no real life experience, and good VA connections, can be legally hired over any of us, it is mind boggling.

JackO

I believe Veteran preference is only up to a GS 9 position.

91Veteran
The grade level someone is hired at using Veterans preference depends on the authority they use to hire the veteran. Some are hired under one program and at a lower grade level while others are hired under a different program that allows a higher grade level. Many years ago I saw veterans hired into GS10 slots, but they were hired as GS5’s because they were considered to be in training. Once per year, if they were meeting the training requirements… Read more »
Bluesky
I want a union puke at the VA in Loma Linda to tell me they are working with me, for me, and give me that which is due, as in, what I have earned. Loma Linda has somehow stayed under radar. I had to wait about a year to get outside “colonoscopy”. The VA voc rehab at Loma Linda has shamed veterans into a tunnel of beliefs while denying them their ch 31 benefits… THE CURRENT VA SYSTEM INCLUDING ITS… Read more »
Dennis

If done with a tactical thermonuclear device it could be gone in a few milliseconds. No official time necessary.

namnibor

Extra benefits of using a few Neutron Bombs to do the task:

1) It leaves the structures intact and…

2) It sanitizes the structures from whatever was growing there, including the piggies.

3) Easily snuck-in on VA ice cream trucks…cement mixers.

(this is assuming the VA employees/AFGE do not cause some form of unexpected nasty fallout when that pure form of corruption meets split atoms…who knows, but we must try, my God, we must try)

Jo3n

Talk about spinning the truth… Ben, that 33% veterans just could be true. I see a lot of janitors, clerks, and kitchen help. I have no complaint, but, it’s that other 67% that bothers me. Most of them are a big part of the problem. Start the firing with that 67%. The video should be used in court. If, in my lifetime we can get rid of anyone. Makes me sick.

JackO

Firing Veterans over civilians will not solve the problem. Its the entire culture at the VA where minimum standards are hard to get from staff. I’ve been told by many Veterans: “in the military I learned….the minimum standards.”

Seymore Klearly

No Jackoff,

Jo3n said “Start the firing with that 67%”. That means start firing the civilians. Also assclown your other statement “I’ve been told by many Veterans”, makes it very clear that you are not a Veteran and certainly not a disabled Veteran. Yet you are so twisted in the head that you come on this site to troll. Fuck Off JackOff.

Underwater basket weaver specialist
Underwater basket weaver specialist
Afge does not promote or care about veteran preference in the hiring process. In fact, they do the opposite. In Salem, they have “negotiated” with hr to issue certificates of eligibility that combines current federal employees and veterans on the same certificate for vacant positions. Also, they have agreements in place to promote current federal employees first aka current due payers at a higher wage thus more money for the afge pocketbook. Basically unless the vacant position is announced to… Read more »
91Veteran

If you go to USAJobs and search on Department of Veterans Affairs only, it pulls up every job currently advertised for hiring. The current number of jobs advertised is 4,503. If you select the filter for veterans, that number drops to 765. Of the 10 listed on the first page, all but 3 are GS6 or below…Housekeeping, clerks and laborer.

I don’t know if veterans can stand any more help from the AFGE on veterans preference in hiring.

Michael
That is the some bs!!! When I worked at the VA, the Union was a joke. Basically very few VA employees use the Union or are dues paying members until management does something to them. I helped a co-worker file a ULP against management and the Union settled things with management without consulting the person who filed the grievance. The Flra lawyer called everyone up and chewed out management and the Union President for violating his rights. Being on official… Read more »
91Veteran
Good movie. As for official time, given your experience, can you tell us whether VA union representatives can just choose on their own what is official time and what is not? If they can choose, then VA management is violating the law. Under the FLSA, it is a management right to determine the amount of official time that can be spent performing official, union duties. I have never heard of a union representative spending their entire day on union business.… Read more »
JackO

management is not protected by the union. management spends tons of time filing disciplinary actions in HR that then deal with the union. Once you are a supervisor you “have no protection.”

91Veteran

I don’t disagree that management has no protection in a perfect world, but this is the VA. I believe management and the union are so corrupt its hard to tell the difference between the two.

namnibor

Such a great movie. You can still go back and poop on his desk. Or send it in a sealed envelope.

James Gallegos
Your right except for the small town remark. The hiring pool is very shallow and everyone knows each other, so friends or relative’s are hired. Then you have all their buddies, friends and relative’s to deal with. You say anything about the VA or certain employee. It will get back to that employee. That employee will make your life a living hell. That is why I say if an investigation is done for what ever reason. All employees being interviewed… Read more »
NiteWish

James Gallegos, I have an elephant knick-knack represents – see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil AND Do No Evil

Underwater basket weaver specialist
Underwater basket weaver specialist

Oh, and I watched one union steward get appointed full time afge status when he had been half time for years. Weird thing is, employees on payroll have gone down yet the director bowed down and kissed the afge ring to pledge her loyalty. Makes zero sense other than backroom deals that will never see the light of day

91Veteran
Again, I cannot understand how this is done since it is a violation of the FLSA. Official time is time GRANTED by the agency to a representative…it is NOT a right. It just tells me again that VA management doesn’t give a shit about what the law is, and will do whatever they want when it comes to working with the union. 3 references on this that I found are: “https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/labor-management-relations/reports-on-official-time/” “https://www.dol.gov/oasam/regs/cfr/29cfr/Part1614/1614605.htm” and “https://www.ntc.blm.gov/krc/uploads/391/FLSA%20Manager%20Guide.pdf” That last link is the best.… Read more »
91Veteran
Ben, the audience this video is for is only true believer union thugs, or those who support them. No sane, thinking person would believe any of the horseshit in this video. Veteran preference is mentioned. How does the AFGE fight for veterans preference when their own Master Agreement specifically excludes veterans from many positions? Rather than lying in their video, why not provide concrete statistics such as the number of veterans who are AFGE members? Specific instances where they have… Read more »
Angela
Hello, Benjamin, the video is Hogwash. No, I do not believe that Congress should fill 45000 more positions. Without accountability enforced, it will be taxpayer money wasted and increased corruption. They speak about quality care. Since when does the VA offer quality care without enforced accountability? The video is false news just like the Democrats’ lie with using President Trump as colluding with the Russians. I have more to say but I will come back later. It is about employment… Read more »
cj

Following in disgust at lil crybaby cox, and his precious AFGE union assholes. You would think the VA was set up to take care of the union instead of veterans………….Wait a minute, damn it, there I go again telling the truth.

NiteWish
Has this come about because the Judicial Watch is aware of employees doing only union work. They put out a pretty damning news letter on the VA. Since I can’t use facebook I analyzed her body/facial expressions. She was chosen because she can read without moving her eyes & she starts out believing what she’s reading, it makes her feel good; the head tilt, raised eyebrow, flashbulb eyes, hand gestures except for shoulder shrugs there she is not committed to… Read more »
91Veteran

Nitewish, can you post a link to that newsletter? That sounds like something I would like to read.

NiteWish

91Veteran, most happy to…

“http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/veterans-affairs-has-346-workers-who-do-only-union-work/article/2621385?utm “

“http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2014/05/va-gives-gitmo-terrorists-better-medical-care-u-s-veterans/?utm_source=campaigner&utm_campaign=Newslink_5-4-17&cmp=1&utm”

“http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-obtains-documents-revealing-va-ordered-nationwide-mass-purge-veterans-mri-imaging-orders/?utm_source=campaigner&utm_campaign=Newslink_5-4-17&cmp=1&utm”

“http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2016/06/u-s-spends-medical-care-inmates-seniors-veterans-military-personnel/?utm_source=campaigner&utm_campaign=Newslink_5-4-17&cmp=1&utm”

91Veteran
Thank you. I see the 346 working as full time thugs comes from a GAO report, which means someone in congress requested that report. I hope they have the guts to follow up and do something about it. Oh, and reading that Examiner article is a good refutation of the video above. It also shows VA management, or at least their spokeshacks have no friggin clue about FLSA. They refer to the Fair Labor Standards Act as the Federal Service… Read more »
namnibor

@NiteWish- Great profiling. Spot-on!

namnibor
VA “Official Time” is also easily confused with other ‘OT’s”, namely; Over Time, Obstructing Turds, you get the drift of the floaters. This “Official Time” AFGE Spokeshack is nothing but a marionette on the strings of AFGE President David “little” Cox. She probably had a bunch of VSO’s with crossbows and fabulous hats pointed at her to ensure to does the deed, the pubic service announcement of the meatgrinder’s anus. Not impressed….but…it tickles me the mighty AFGE is bothered enough… Read more »
namnibor

^My dad’s OT was definitely of the “Obstructing Turd” type. So goes the AFGE, Obstructing Turds.

Kane
Yep! seen this time and time again sense 2009 sense I retired. Nepotism at it’s worst, friends that know friends, relatives they all fly below the radar. On one hand you have a veteran that have served and bled, on the other you have a kid coming out of high school that has a better chance to work for the government than that veteran. Not going to say any names but there was a RIF at CPOL where jobs went… Read more »
james gallegos
agree with your post. The VA hired a Managers daughter to be secretary to the director, right out of high school. When I questioned the hiring, I was told by personnel that the Girl had so many extra activities in high school, that it qualified her for the position. We also had a Chief of Staff who retired, right after he retired they hired his son as file room supervisor and employee’s complained, so management took corrective Action and promoted… Read more »
namnibor
“[…What planet was AFGE was on when they created this video, anyway? Since when did AFGE protect Veterans Preference?…]” When humanity finally populates outer space, the VA should never be allowed to invade outer space. Ever. Why? “Veteran’s Preference” would be the very rationed O2 the VA would get caught stealing after they kill Veterans in an Outer Space VAMC (OSVAMC) then giving that saved O2 rations to AFGE piggies in space. I have seen the future. We must destroy… Read more »
Jo3n

I’m not understanding what gives union officials the right to do anything concerning Veterans health care. Is the union a federal agency? Can they be sued for interfering with Veterans health care? They shouldn’t be allowed to get away with what they get away with.

NiteWish

Come to the VA & do less work for more pay, doing things the VA way. Words taken from:
“https://www.indeed.com/cmp/Department-of-Veterans-Affairs/reviews”

cj

@NiteWish: Your on fire today/night. Excellent work.

NiteWish

CJ, LOL in a mood after backing off to re-charge

Ex va
I do not know if anyone has noticed that majority of these va employees looked like the fell off the top of an ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down. Lol. They could present themselves better, shave, brush the hair, shower, lol. They lack sophistication and all like cox, they are disgusting. Maybe i don’t have my rose colored glasses on, where everything looks wonderful and beautiful, probably my subjective view. This presentation was bullshit. Union doesn’t… Read more »
Disgruntled Veteran

@Pennsylvania Veterans – – – (Off Topic) Persian Gulf Bonus Program:

Any current or former member of the armed forces who was a Pennsylvania resident at the time and served in the Persian Gulf during the period from Aug. 2, 1990 until Aug. 31, 1991 can receive up to $525 by applying for the Persian Gulf Veterans Bonus. The deadline for submitting applications for the program is Aug. 31, 2018.

“http://www.dmva.pa.gov/veteransaffairs/Pages/Programs%20and%20Services/Persian-Gulf-Bonus-Program.aspx”

Disgruntled Veteran
BA-DONG BA-DONG BA-DONG BA-DONG BA-DONG . . . This is not a drill, this is not a drill. B – U – L – L – S -H – I – T alert on the blog. I say again B – U – L – L – S – H – I – T alert on the blog. S.N.A.F.U. and B.O.H.I.C.A. Procedures are now in effect. AFGE member should be SHOT on sight. Little Cox has No Cox. This is… Read more »
Ex va

@Disgruntled Veteran, you are right on!!!!!

Disgruntled Veteran
@Ex va @cj – – – Thanks. None of those AFGE bastards give a shit about anything but $$$$$. How do you tell if an AFGE Employee is lying? Their lips are moving . . . . I do not do Facebook anymore. Get distracted enough due TBI and PTSD. Got to be able to get at least a little bit of useful stuff done for Momma. She does her damndest to take care of me as best she can.… Read more »
cj

@Disgruntled Veteran: LOL, most excellent response. Needs to be followed up with a few high power rounds wizzing by their heads, and just when they think they are safe………………splattttttttt, another one bites the dust.

Disgruntled Veteran
Agreed. But in Hawaii – – – once you go to the VA and are diagnosed with PTSD, the VA tells the Sheriff’s Department. Then the Sheriff’s show up at your house and legally confiscate your weapons. In Hawaii, it is FAR EASIER for the crooks to get firearms – – – than it is for a veteran with PTSD. The Price of “Paradise”. By the way, Honolulu was just officially rated the second most expensive city in the US… Read more »
cj

@Disgruntled Veteran: Criminal what they have done to you. We treat illegals better. I hope you can resolve some of your battles in quick order. I know it is paradise, buy you need more options than are available on the islands. Win, and come home.

Disgruntled Veteran

@cj – – – I sure eant to do just that.

Disgruntled Veteran

@cj – – – want not eant

cj

Remember the tv game show called “Name that tune”? We can start another “I can make that shot “

cj

–Veteran Drone Program—_______
——————–V.D.P.——————|
/———————@——————-(..)——————–@———————\

┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈┈?????????????
┈┈╱▔▔▔▔▔╲┈┈┈??????????
┈╱┈┈╱▔╲╲╲▏┈┈┈?????┈
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……AFGE

Ex va

@cj, ROFL!!!! ??

ThisVet2017
In Atlanta VA, the union’s sales pitch for joining in 2010, was that ‘Sooner or later you’re going to have an encounter with management that will require representation’. Fast forward to 2016, I kid you not, same sales pitch. My thing is, if the union is doing such great things. Why between 2010 to 2016, they haven’t improved things where you would feel compelled to join because like it or not, management is gonna get ya!!! Because they do nothing.… Read more »
Underwater basket weaver specialist
Underwater basket weaver specialist

Not only does afge get official time and free office space but they also get their supplies “free” from medical centers. That can’t or shouldn’t be legal. Anybody know of a specific law that addresses this? I’d like reference to send along with appropriate docs to the congressional committee for review

91Veteran
You would have to look at DOL or OPM web sites for whether it is legal, but I very highly doubt it is. I knew a guy several years ago that worked in a fed agency. He was a union steward there, and said they couldn’t even send an email to union members using their work email address because it was illegal to use federal resources for doing so. Of course, it’s possible his agency management never allowed his union… Read more »
Lem

following

Paul Zdunek
If you veterans do nit agree with the AFGE position do not just vent on the blog, get busy and swamp Veteran Committees in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. These politicians can do something but are useless humaN beings and let the crap keep going on within the VA. The Afge union president and membership should be eliminated period.The union is in bed with SES employees and politicians. The more members the union gets the more the… Read more »
Dennis
@Paul The Senate and Congress have no control over VA my friend. This fact is not in dispute. Moreover, as the recent indictments of extreme corruption against a member of the VA committee in Congress show, MANY of those cretins have been bought off – so just who is gonna listen anyway? Many are paid to turn a deaf ear. Marches do not work either because the AFGE without ANY doubt understands Pinkerton tactics and WILL use them. What has… Read more »
NiteWish

Paul Zdunek, a Veterans march is happening tomorrow May 20. I’ll be checking the youtube to see if any post the event live. “vetsmarchonamerica.com”

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