Sending Office: Honorable Mark Takano
Please join me as a cosponsor of the VA Employee Fairness Act of 2019, which would strengthen the rights of healthcare providers at VA facilities and improve veterans’ access to care. This important bill would bring parity to the federal
workforce by restoring full collective bargaining rights for VA Title 38 health care professionals – such as registered nurses, physicians, dentists, and physician assistants – that are otherwise afforded to federal facilities covered by Title 5.
The VA’s current human resources policy is predicated on an interpretation of Section 7422 of Title 38 that is contrary to Congressional intent and makes an arbitrary distinction between front line clinicians. For example, registered nurses, physicians,
and other clinicians caring for active duty personnel in Department of Defense facilities and prisoners in Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facilities have full Title 5 collective bargaining rights. Within the VA, these Title 38 clinicians with extremely limited rights
work side by side with psychologists, social workers, pharmacists, licensed practical nurses and other clinicians with full bargaining rights.
The provision in law that exempts only certain health care providers has prevented these individuals from raising grievances about issues such as professional training and safe patient handling policies that undermine patient care or negotiating for competitive
pay that will attract health care workers to the VA. The VA Employee Fairness Act removes this exemption, and grants front line health care providers their full collective bargaining rights.
Title 38 health care professionals are asking for the same rights – not more – to negotiate over routine workplace issues such as scheduling, assignments, and nurse locality pay that are exercised every day by other VA clinicians and federal employees
everywhere. Guaranteeing VA health care providers the same bargaining rights as other providers will help improve workplace conditions and ultimately benefit our nation’s veterans.
Please consider joining me in support of this important veterans’ health care legislation. To sign on as a co-sponsor, please contact
Justin.Maturo@mail.house.gov or x5-2305.
Member of Congress
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