VA’s AFGE union successfully bullied for removed all parts of the Senate’s VA firing bill it found objectionable after refusing to support the bill.
The Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs has made headline hay by claiming the bill would take serious steps to hold all VA employees accountable. Veterans were thrilled with the headlines they were reading since they were given the impression the bill would fix VA.
But AFGE decided to flex muscles on Capitol Hill and was able to remove all 4 sections of the bill it found objectionable.
AFGE UNION THREATS
The AFGE union president J. David Cox sent out emails pressing its employees to write Senators about why they should oppose the bill, “I strongly urge you to oppose the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs omnibus bill in its current form.” Cox argued, “No less than the future of the VA health care system is at stake here.”
This scare tactic came from the same president who threatened to “whoop” Secretary McDonald’s “ass” if the VA chief dared to challenge AFGE union authority.
Nothing like a Chicken Little argument to freak out weak minded union members.
Cox gave his marching orders to the Senate and days later, the parts of the bill they did not like were swiftly removed.
The Daily Caller analyzed the bill after Democrats and Republicans bragged up its development only to find the teeth were removed except for some paltry SES employee measures that affect less than one percent of its overall workforce.
FOUR COWARDLY MEASURES
The four measures that were initially changed but then reverted were:
- Probationary employees will still automatically convert to permanent employees unless a manager takes a measure to prevent the change. The original language required managers to affirmatively process probationary employees into permanent employees.
- Union employees will still get almost 30 days to appeal their removal. The Senate merely relabeled how the process would work by calling it 20 business days.
- Letters of reprimand will be removed from the employee’s file within 3 years instead of 5 years.
- Numerous caveats in the accountability measures for senior executives will have little effect. Pensions after resigning can only be impacted if the person is convicted of a felony after exhausting all their appeals.
One of the tradeoffs will benefit Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthall. AFGE promised to help him get re-elected because he helped make it hard to fire VA employees.
Chairman of the Senate Committee, Senator Isakson, is supposedly working back channel negotiations with the White House while obstructing involvement from the House in creation of the language. Isakson is supposedly working to get the White House on board at any cost.
How is that for a bunch of cowards, both Republicans and Democrats? Is it time that we flushed the longtime Senators from both parties?
The House version of the bill is much more strict in its treatment of bad employees. If the Senate capitulates to the Union, it will result in the overall affect being watered down in a conference meeting.