Chairman Arrington Examines Union Activities at VA
WASHINGTON – Congressman Jodey Arrington, in his first official hearing as Chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, examined a study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on the time union officials spend working on union business while being paid by the VA.
The GAO study concluded that the VA is not accurately tracking the amount of time employees spend on union activities.
[CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE OPENING STATEMENT]
In response to the findings, Chairman Arrington stated, in-part:
“The men and women who have raised their right hand to serve and who have been willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, deserve nothing but the best service and care worthy of their commitment to our country. Unfortunately, time and time again, situations have come to light where the care our veterans were receiving did not measure up to this standard of excellence.
“I am very troubled by the Government Accountability Offices’ findings that the VA is not accurately or sufficiently tracking how much time employees are using on official time and that the data that we do have from VA is unreliable at best.”
Not only are some individuals spending 100% of their working days doing union activities while receiving their tax-payer funded salaries, some individuals are receiving their tax-payer funded salaries and are not being appropriately tracked for what they are doing during the time they are not directly serving our veterans.
Congressman Arrington continued, “We have hundreds, if not thousands, of VA employees serving on official time, many of them on 100% official time and many making over six figures. You would be hard-pressed to convince me, or any reasonable person, that a VA employee making over $200,000 a year – paid for by the taxpayers – is best utilized sitting in an office dealing with union grievances for 100% of their working day rather than standing by a bedside providing care to a veteran.
“I came to Congress, as we all did, to make a difference and to root out the real problems facing our country and find real solutions; and while this hearing today is not going to completely resolve all of the issues related to official time and union activities on the tax-payer’s dime, I think this discussion is necessary and pertinent as we continue to reform and fix the VA as a whole.”
To read Chairman Arrington’s full remarks, click HERE.
For additional background on the hearing, click HERE.