Federal Daily News
Union says VA outsources jobs that should go to vets
The union that represents more than 200,000 employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs has accused the department of illegally outsourcing jobs that traditionally have gone to veterans.
The American Federation of Government Employees said that the Obama administration has continued a practice begun during the Bush administration of contracting out VA jobs “that disabled veterans rely on to get back on their feet after returning from the battlefield.”
According to a Feb. 8 press statement issued by the union, during the last administration “jobs that embodied the tradition of ‘veterans helping veterans,’ such as cemetery caretakers, laundry and food service workers, housekeepers, groundskeepers, and transportation assistants, disappeared as more and more contractors were handed the work without the required studies to show whether contracting out was cost-effective to taxpayers.”
AFGE claimed that the “illegal outsourcing of entry-level VA jobs” has become even more prevalent in recent years, and maintained that most of VA’s contracts continue to violate federal law by being awarded without performing a cost-benefit analysis.
The union also cited the “excessive use” of contract health care services. AFGE said that contract physicians and nurses lack the specialized skills in treating veterans that career VA medical personnel bring to the job.
“We all know who is hurt the most by these growing outsourcing practices,” said AFGE National President John Gage, “It’s the veteran on the receiving end of the agency’s services.”