AFGE Union

AFGE Union Beats Back Senate Firing Bill

AFGE Union

Benjamin KrauseVA’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.


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.

RELATED: AFGE Union President To ‘Whoop’ VA Secretary’s ‘Ass’

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.


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.


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  1. Our service members are not part of the union, so it needs to be addressed from our current to future veterans view…not some assclown who leads a union brought about because of nepotism and cronyism. This asshole that leads the union should have been thrown out of office for communicating a threat aimed directly at the Sec. of the VA(so what if we think he is Osama Obama’s butt buddy).
    In 2 weeks I am finally getting a much needed surgery… It has taken a year and a half through the Choice program.
    So all in all, FUCK the union and all the assholes in charge!!!

    You know where to find me, if you dare!

    1. the afge union owns @ runs va deathcare from hell wake up lazy vets !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Hi Maddilyn – I hope all is well by you. The following article shows why the veterans population, and our families (70 million plus) can never succeed getting the care we are supposed to get by law. This union is actively aiding and abetting in the genocide of our veterans and family members when they prevent proper care, and get bonuses while they are doing it. This is is violation of the thinking behind the que tam laws as well. The VA is well known for quashing whistle blowers. Please urge the Senator, and he his compatriots, to vote against these AFGE changes.

      1. @James
        No! It’s not a done deal YET. Both houses have yet to vote. The “House bill” is even more stringent than the Senate bill.
        Read the last paragraph in Ben’s Blog.

  3. The AFGE was right to fight. There are already plenty of ways to remove front line AFGE employees. Where the attention needs to be placed is not the SFGE workers, but the mid level bureacracts who are ineligible to join the union. Any manager GS13 and up and including SES are the decision makers, the leaders (or lack thereof).

    Fish stick from the head down. Y’all are gripping about the Secretary and Unersecretary, and the front line workers. Who you ought to be focused on are the miserable petty tyrants who are manipulating the system to their own ends. Those who are getting $5,000-30,000 bonuses. THOSE are the people that are ‘untouchable’.

    You did a good piece on two SES, but notice the inefficient way their discipline was processed to the point of being ineffectual. Look for the cronyism, and believe me. It isn’t at the AFGE represented worker level.

      1. Cannot pardon nor defend this: “”

    1. Until the union changes it’s position on the firing of incompetent and dishonest employees, it will continue to be a detriment to Vets…Defending shredders and others of their ilk is an assault on the rights of Vets and their right to accurate and speedy processing of claims… It might be middle and upper management who came up with the schemes to delay and deny claims and treatment but it’s the clerks and secretaries and front line workers that you represent that actually carried it out…They should have been the FIRST to raise the alarm…

      RE: “Who you ought to be focused on are the miserable petty tyrants who are manipulating the system to their own ends. Those who are getting $5,000-30,000 bonuses. THOSE are the people that are ‘untouchable’.”

      The union just went to war to gut the new legislation aimed at increasing accountability at the VA…While you may not “represent” middle and upper management, you can’t deny they will benefit from your effort…In my opinion, the union is in DIRECT OPPOSITION to the needs and rights of Vets…I believe it needs to go and we cannot clean up the VA with the union in opposition…Now if the union would SUPPORT instead of oppose increasing accountability, I might change my mind.

      I think it’s time for National Veteran’s Action Committee with Ben Krause at it’s head…If you agree, check it out on my website…

      1. Correct. AFGE opposes any kind of accountability. A lesson on bargaining or non bargaining is a moot point. In the public sector, neither management not front line fraudsters, wasters, and abusers are held to account. The union domino theory that fears accountability at the top will wind its way down to the crooks in the ranks results in only the maintenance of the status quo. When push comes to shove unaccountable federal employees will put their own interests ahead of veterans because of the bureaucratic system. There may be good ones out there but they are absorbed by the system or expelled. “The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.” – Oscar Wilde. It no longer exists to serve veterans but rather itself. And therefore any kind of accountability is like shining a flashlight on cockroaches.

    2. You can defend the AFGE all you want, but I can assure you the clerk who refuses to answer the phone or return a voice mail is not GS13 and above.
      The clerk fooling around on their phones while vets are waiting to be checked in are not GS13 and above.
      Its possible the supervisor in the clinic mocking suicidal vets was a 13, but she is gone.
      It was also not a gs13, 14 or 15 who pushed an AFGE contract that excludes veterans from being hired for much beyond a janitor.
      I further doubt it was a GS13 who was involved in armed robbery, beating a veteran to death, etc. In fact, when many problems occur in the VA, many are due to a union thug, or a union thug looking the other way rather than reporting another union thug for their wrong doing.

      1. I challenged an emergency room nurse for neglecting patients for several hours on a Saturday, including a 90 year old WW2 vet with diabetes that the patients took under their care. Someone came in who was bleeding and put in a chair, some people came in with major illnesses, and so on. I checked in and they told us we would be seen soon, and no one else went in, so I went back when our WW2 vet was going into shock. The nurse came out and told me I had no idea what goes on in an ER, and I told him he has to take care of patients, and was committing malpractice. He tried to get me to go into a back office, which I refused, then he yelled I had attacked him and to call the police. I told the clerk to call the police because I was pressing charges against him, so 4 cops showed up. One was a wiseass, but the other 3 helped common sense prevail. I complained the following week, as did someone just back from Sandland who was a medic, and I did not see him for awhile. A little while back I saw him again. Shortly afterward the WW2 vet died. Who knows if this wiseass nurse helped contribute to an earlier demise because of his failure to take care of him. That being said, most of the rest of the people I meet at the hospitals are very good to excellent – this joker should have been fired, but thanks to the union, he is still making good money.

      2. I still believe veterans need to complain to state licensing boards when crap like this happens. If the employee is in a licensed position and has no license, then there is no reason for the AFGE to fight for them to keep their job.
        A complaint from you could be detailed enough to where the state would likely investigate. You can list the name of the perp, along with the names of the 4 VA cops that showed up. You could also get a copy of their report if they wrote one, and if they didnt, that opens another can of worms if they failed to document an incident when one of their poor employees claimed they were attacked by you.
        You could also list the number of other veterans waiting and a description of each.

        File a complaint with the state licensing board, then find whether your state has laws against elder abuse and submit a complaint with them.

        Open that can of worms and see how far the VA wants to go when ignoring veterans needing care, then trying to bully and falsely accuse veterans when called on it.

      3. l spoken. I have threatened that before. I am a licensed professional by background and understand the ethics issues. The Feds do not control the medical license – the states do, which is a form of check and balance – unless you are in NY, where they pick and choose what they want to do. But NY is full of corruption. This is from the NY Times on May 3:

        The Many Faces of New York’s Political Scandals

        In the past decade, more than 30 current or former state officeholders in New York have been convicted of crimes, sanctioned or otherwise accused of wrongdoing. Here are some of them. RELATED ARTICLE

  4. This whole thing stinks to high heaven. It’s nothing but the DVA being in collusion with the AFGE to keep marginalizing veterans, the way I see it!

  5. Dear Mr. Krause:

    The major problems we face with the government; the AFGE and all of them only serves to reinforce what I have been saying right along, we need TRUMP!!! to clean house how much proof do we need?

    Yours for GOD and Country
    Frank P. Calderon

  6. This union will never allow the VA’s shit-bag upper management employees to be fired, allowing corrosive culture to stay.

    AFGE president J. David Cox wrote. “No less than the future of the VA health care system is at stake here.”

    In a letter April 18 he asked taxpayer-funded employees to pressure Sen. Johnny Isakson: “I strongly urge you to oppose the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs omnibus bill in its current form,” and they did.

    Isakson quickly allowed all 4 of these points to be changed after being pressured a little. Committee Ranking Member Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. went along with this.
    J. David Cox (sucker) is the d**k that calls the shots around the VA. He has more power than any senator. Congress bows to him. He has power over any VA secretary also. He is the World Order on the VA level.

    1. The AFGE doesn’t represent managers. So they have no interest in the treatment of those who are making the scrappy decisions.

    2. In October 2015, AFGE topped 300,000 active members for the first time in modern history – a remarkable feat in the face of hiring freezes, budget cuts, and continual attacks on the pay and benefits of government workers.

      Under Cox’s leadership, AFGE has developed a strategic plan to chart the union’s direction for the next decade. The plan, called Big Enough to Win, is organized around four key strategies: Organizing and Growth, Legislative Mobilization, Political Strength, and Creating Strong Effective Locals.

      That is a tough number to beat…but as someone once said at Bastogne “Nuts!”. How can the AFL-CIO reconcile the veteran abusers with the other great program of the AFL-CIO training veterans and getting them great jobs?

  7. Someone a long time ago said;

    “Those who do not learn from history are DOOMED to repeat it!”
    Harsh words indead.

    Now, today, I received these “words”! Which are over 2000 years old. Some of you might think they aren’t for what Ben wrote today. Under closer examination they are!
    From: “Townhall dot com”. Dated May 3, 2016
    by: John Hawkins.
    Title to google:

    “20 Quotes From Ancient Greek Philosophers That Liberals Still Don’t Understand”

    I would go further. Both sides of the aisles, worldwide, are failing to understand what the people understand! “Corruption” ~ at its finest will one day fall. People, throughout history, have challenged the status quo. More times than not the “Will of the People” have emerged victorious.
    We, right now, are in a modern day fight for our FREEDOM!
    The “Status Quo” are scared. We can see it in their eyes. Did you see the fear in Cruz’s eyes last night. When he dropped from the race? It was the same today with Kascich!
    The head of the RNC has said the republicans “must unite behind Mr. Trump!” He knows what lies ahead if they don’t!
    “We the People” have put the fear of GOD into the Republican Party. All we have to do now is put fear into the Democratic Party! Let them know their time is short.
    Let them know we will never bow, ever again, to a queen or a king.

  8. Dear Mr. Krause:

    I want to apologize for the first submission, but I ran into problems with thee computer; a glitch or something or another.

    My comment on those four cowardly measures is this: if they violate our Constitutional Rights, we should not worry about, here I have in my possession of invalid Constitutional, so-called laws, statutes and regulations which have the appearance of laws but aren’t.

    Frank Calderon

    to amvets, magazine, magazine>Agencies

    On Wed, Jun 17, 2015 at 1:57 PM, Frank Calderon wrote:
    To my comrades:

    I am fed up with the efforts of many politicians and other’s attempts to deprive us, our countrymen and particularly, our servicemen and women, my comrades at arms, of our Constitutional Rights, while the good, honest ones are faced with an uphill fight, struggling to preserve them.

    I don’t know about you, but I see a revival of 17th century archaic, ” laws, statutes, and regulations,” used by jolly old England, in the colonies as the means to accomplish.

    But I have here a piece of Constitutional Law to determine the validity and the blueprint you might
    to determine what is legitimate and what is not, it is taken from Constitutional Law and has been led put to the test, and affirmed in the courts, or as they say through stare decisis.

    The Constitutional law I have to share is this, I assure you it is very effective, I do not know whether you are or not familiar with it:

    Constitutional Law, 16th Am. Jur. 2nd Copyright 1998 Ed.
    Total Unconstitutionalty { $$ 203-206}

    $ 203 Generally

    The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, whether federal or state, though having the form and name of law,is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose. Since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment, and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it, an unconstitutional law, in legal contemplation, is as inoperative as if it had never been passed and never existed, that is, it is void ab initio.
    Such a statute leaves the question that it purports to settle just as it would be had the statute not been enacted.

    16th Am Jur 2d Constitutional Law continued

    Since an unconstitutional law is void, the general principles follow that it imposes no duties, confers no rights, creates no office or liabilities, bestows no power or authority on anyone, affords no protection, is incapable of creating rights or obligations, does not allow for granting of any relief, and justifies no acts performed under it. Once a statute is determined to be unconstitutional, no private citizen or division of the state may take any further action pursuant to its provisions. A contract which rests on an unconstitutional statute creates no obligation to be impaired by subsequent legislation.

    No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it. Once a statute has been declared unconstitutional, courts thereafter have no jurisdiction over alleged
    violations. etc…

    Yours for God and Country
    Frank P. Calderon

    Frank Calderon

  9. The prisoners are threatening to remove the Warden because it is too hard to escape.

    Sanity is just an illusion.

  10. I knew that wouldn’t last. Let’s see, the proposed legislation was published last Thursday and within 6 days the union has their meat hooks into one of the politicians. We are totally screwed, have been and always will be with scum like Blumenthall on the Committee. We really need to write, like the bastards who work for the VA telll him how big a POS he is, and write every news organization in the country and the two running for President.

  11. We would certainly like to see a list of the Senators that placed this unions interests above that of Veterans so that veterans, their families, supporters, etc. can beging voting them out of office!

  12. Agree. The only way our vote will ever count more than the contribution kings is IF WE START TURNING OUT INCUMBENTS from both parties until they pay more attention to the voters than the contributors. Our calls mean nothing because they are competing for the money first.

  13. Not at all surprised at these gutless wonders folding like cheap suits. If you look at each of the 4 items removed, all of them give the appearance of requiring accountability while in reality doing nothing. Politicians include them to make it look like they give a shit when the opposite is true. The union thugs get them removed allowing them to look tough and supportive of their members.
    In the end, veterans get lost and forgotten in the shuffle.

    There was a time when veterans organization could appear before Congressional committees and get common sense action. Because they have crawled into bed with Congress to get scraps thrown their way, they have completely squandered any power they had, at the expense of the very veterans they were chartered to assist.

    If this was the best Congress could do, we are truly screwed and in our own.

    Ps. There is a story in WDAY Green Bay I believe about another veteran dying of a drug overdose why in a VA treatment facility in Milwaukee for drug addiction. The VA is busy pointing fingers and shifting blame.
    Senator Baldwin is scrambling making it look like she was doing something.

  14. The VA’s AFGE Employee Union is literally holding “accountability at VA hostage” and by proxy, placing each and every veteran in harm’s way by refusing to use the master flushing mechanism and FIRE SHITTY WORKERS…and that goes for highest level to the janitorial at the VA *AND* ALL those VA Employees culpable by seeing fraud and corruption and saying absolutely nothing.

    Benjamin: I think this more than stinks and truly reveals whom the VA takes it’s orders from…the Union. All the way up to highest levels in the VA.
    How is it then that the VA and AFGE can continue to thumb their noses at VA Whistle Blower Protections put in place while at same time refuse to accept legislation forcing accountability?

    No ONE in Congress has AND balls…none. McCain really could have used his unique influences as a Disabled Vet himself, as could the other former military members now part of Congress….so at this point they are ALL corrupt regardless of what they did in Service. What can we do to combat this obstinacy of the VA AFGE Union?
    Why does AFGE Union President J. David Cox possess so much power to be able to publicly humiliate McDonald and Gibson?
    What were McDonald and Gibson promised by the Union if they kept their mouths shut? I ask because of the obvious lack of outcry from VA Upper Management and funny thing is, with almost ALL Unions, Management and especially Upper Management are NOT members of a given Union, so was McDonald completely powerless without influence in this travesty?

    I agree with crazyelf in that it’s high time for a “Reagan” to be played on the AFGE Union and VA but it will not be this worthless POTUS, who would make it a priority to replace all the other Presidents on our Bills before he would ever help Veterans. Fact. Obama has ordered yet more Civil War Monuments and such taken down, so he is not done destroying this USA…he has until January, 2017. 🙁

    1. @namnibor
      I read an article this morning where Obama is going to erect “Monuments Honoring” the ‘Gay Movement’ areas in America!

      I guess it’s true about him and Michelle!

    2. A union of people is created from a practical viewpoint to negotiate terms of employment of he group with the employer. On this case We The People are employers. If it were in the unions best interest to accept what is in The Peoples best interest, then they would.

      Since The Peoples best interests are not served with a union in place, The People have a choice to make; we vote to outlaw public employee unions. If outlawing the union is not Constituional, then We The People can choose any legal path necessary to put union concerns secondary to the will of The People.

      I define the “best interests” of The People the same as “the will” of The People. It is our choice and electing either personal silence, or communicating your choices to anyone and everyone you choose are votes in this election as are the casting of ballots. Never stop beating the drums of change – or choose to do nothing and vote for status quo that way. To be frank, blaming a congressman or any legislator for the way things are is not acknowledging that a legislator is just a part of We The People. To blame them is to point directly between our own eyes. Elect silence or elect action.

      It is time to choose to exert the rights we all pledged our sacred honor to protect and speak out, or elect the right to remain silent. We pledged to uphold and protect that right too.

      I have elected to take action.That is my will.

  15. I believe many of us on here, and other websites which supports veterans, had a premonition something like this would happen.

    It’s like the “Air Traffic Controllers Union” in the 1970’s. I remember Reagan “promised” them anything, and everything, they wanted. He did this to get elected! Then, after his election, he “…pulled the rug out from under them!”
    This needs to happen with the “AFGE”, who is affiliated with the “AFL-CIO”! There needs to be another Reagan type president! (Not that “female” who said “It was a ‘right-wing conspiracy!” bullcrap.)

    In some ways a union can be great for worker’s rights. In most cases, they aren’t. In the case of the VA they aren’t. Why?
    Member’s of a union who can’t do a good job, depending on the “act”, should be repremanded. If they continue, then be fired.

    Ex; If said employee(s) aren’t performing up to standard. Thereby, “…causing financial harm to the business(es)”, the only recourse would be – to let them go! The VA, and our government, IS a business run by the taxpayers. Their ‘bottom line’ is always in trouble. Multiple times, each year, VA’s upper echelon, McDonald, Gibson, Shulkin etc., etc., wants more taxpayer’s dollars to “fix a fix!” Most taxpayers are unaware of this, and should be informed.

    If a union believes in itself correctly. They will/would help in the ways to eliminate poor performing employees. Good employees, on the other hand, should be promoted.

    Somehow, the AFGE needs to rethink their position towards VA’s employees. They are doing more harm than good. Not only to veterans/patients. But also to the VA employees!

  16. Mr krause
    My Name is Michael Christopher KARG I have a problem that is very serious and I don’t know were to turn I can’t get one Lawyer to talk to me I was in the military 1986
    I was discharged with an OTH
    For smoking marijuana when I joined I was completely honest about drug use and alcohol use I was leagaly drunk at my MEPS physical in Seattle was kicked out of the red lion motor Inn both times I had to go up for my physical inwaited 15 years to upgrade my discharge and my discharge was changed but uncharterized when I took a congressional act against the DVA
    Little did I know thaty Adopted sister Leanna m KARG had been appointmented. Lt commander of the USN by Congress and is some big wig with the disabled American vets she hates my guts because her mother Linda Rae kachinsky KARG sexualiy abused me after I was adopted and I was taken out of there home on my MEPS papers
    Question asked if I had any mentel problems I said yes was sexually abused by adopted mother
    Down the page they quote 1 episode of sex with foster mother at sge ,14 the adult was reprimanded and no charges against candidate they have my biological mothers name on medical papers for next of kin not true she signed relinquish ment papers on separate 28 1978
    In Tacoma Washington well then someone sent me this site and I sent Leanna KARG an email that stated they violated my sec 241 title 18 later that day my elementary school teacher Mary McAdam sent me an obituary for Linda Rae kachinsky KARG I am 50/years old in July and they have been messing with my life ever since I was adopted they used medical phycologist test and reports to write Therese on attachment disorders and other disability The KARG ACADAMEY
    They have made my life unbearable were to the point I have
    Tried to commit suicide
    I recently started seeing a counselor about all this she is involved also because she is directing me in other directions this is something that needs to be taken care of because it’s illegal and wrong I didn’t ask to be born or adopted and I should have never have said anything at the VA Hospital at American Lake Tacoma Wa when I had witnessed my mother Kathleen m Arnold put a butcher knife under the seat of our 72 Plymouth duster and when we got to the hospital inesvaped out of the car and went and told someone that was April 5th 1972:
    April 6th 1972 I was made temporary ward of Washington state then in 1978/Nov 11th.I was put in the custody of Linda and Rudolph KARG July 20th 1979/I was adopted and it became irrevocable on December 27 1979
    After the 6 th month period was up thank you please HELP

    1. Michael:

      You obviously have a huge plate full of problems. I spent almost 50 years as a National Representative for AFGE, now retired. Stories like you present here were some of the worst nightmares for representatives such as myself.

      What on earth do any of your unfortunate experience’s have to do with your relationship as an employee within the DVA?

      Best of luck brother.

      1. Please.look at time I’m in Tacoma Washington USA
        Why is this reply 3 hrs a head

      1. I joined the military
        Of my own free will not knowing the requirements why did they take me knowing I had no HS Diploma or GED and that I was completely honest about drug use and alcohol use but they marked no problem with alcohol also I did not say anything about I V drug use but when.I received some medical records they say I V drug use because I contacted hepatitis C and meningitis and that’s what they are trying to say and adopted sister Leanna KARG was appointed Lt Commander by Congress and she was involved with many VA hospital “s. This is all gonna come out sooner or later I’m not gonna give up in my appendix it said Michael is not gonna addapt to military standards he is not to be discharged but transfered to a duty station were he can finish out his reservist status I never knew any of this untill I started investigating my life on. My DD214 computer matching for eligibility and continued elgibility for federal benifit programs I did all my basic training and was even athletic petty officer of our company

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