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House Panel Promotes Laws to Expand Veterans Affairs Healthcare Workers’ Right to Negotiate

The Department of Veterans Affairs Commission on Tuesday extended the collective bargaining powers of the Department of Veterans Affairs medical professionals to advance a bill that would allow them to negotiate issues related to patient care and clinical performance on 17-11. I voted.

Department of Veterans Affairs doctors, dentists, registered nurses, and assistant doctors are employed under Title 38 of the United States Code and prohibit collective bargaining on care and competence issues, as the ministry’s secretary decided. I am. During the Trump administration, the exceptions to collective bargaining were far more widespread than in previous times, eventually including issues such as shift scheduling and banning access to official time by union officials in Title 38.

Department of Veterans Affairs Employee Fairness Act (HR 1948), Introduced by Democratic Chairman Mark Takano, lifted the ban on negotiating patient care and competence issues for Title 38 employees, giving them virtually complete title 5 collective bargaining rights. I will. Takano said the measure would give healthcare professionals the same rights that many other VA employees, including associate nurses, already enjoy.

“Title 38 healthcare professionals seek the same rights to negotiate routine workplace issues such as daily schedules, assignments, and community salaries for nurses exercised by other VA clinicians and federal staff. “Mr. Takano said. “Guaranteing health care providers with the same bargaining rights as other health care providers will help improve the condition of the workplace and ultimately benefit our veterans.”

However, Republican Rep. Mike Bost, a ranking member of the Commission, understands the plight of the VA union in recent years, but believes that the solution is not to completely abolish the ban on patient care issues. He said he was. He said the Biden administration had not yet approved the bill, quoting “many complex issues under consideration” instead.

“I understand the union’s position that the secretary was involved in this provision to address questions like scheduling,” he said. “However, this change will discipline a doctor, nurse, or dentist if a third-party arbitrator determines that the care or clinical competence of the doctor, nurse, or dentist is substandard. The secretary’s decision as to whether or not can be inferred again. This type of question should be considered by the dentist and should not leave the discipline of the dentist to an irresponsible third party. “

Mr Bost also suggested that the bill could give veterans’ medical professionals the right to negotiate payments. The bill removes the wording in Title 38 that prohibits employees from negotiating “setting, deciding, or adjusting employee compensation,” but in the same way as other Title 5 employees. You can file a complaint about a wage dispute.

Randy Irwin, the national president of the Federal Employees’ Federation, praised the Commission’s vote to advance legislation.

“For the past four years, medical professionals and staff at the Department of Veterans Affairs have struggled to care for our veterans and have endured an incredibly rough and tragic situation,” Erwin said in a statement. I will. “The last administration tried to threaten, demote, dismiss, and destroy the reputation of doctors, nurses, and other professionals when discussing patient care and working conditions. Veterans win by having caregivers speak about their ability to treat patients effectively and efficiently. “

The bill is now going to the floor for full house review.



https://www.govexec.com/management/2021/05/house-panel-advances-legislation-expand-va-medical-employee-bargaining-rights/173868/ House Panel Promotes Laws to Expand Veterans Affairs Healthcare Workers’ Right to Negotiate

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