VA recommends closing hundreds of VA clinics in privatization move

Darryll Bell, President of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 31, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast and discussed recently released Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recommendations to close hundreds of VA clinics and at least three medical centers in an effort to privatize veterans’ healthcare.

Bell said the recommendations are based on outdated information and will adversely affect hundreds of other VA facilities. He claimed the closure of VA facilities will force veterans to rely on uncoordinated, private, for-profit care facilities. Veterans will face longer wait times and be without the unique and specialized care VA clinics provide, he added.

Bell then explained the merits of a class-action lawsuit, which seeks hazard pay for federal employees exposed to COVID-19. Any federal employee exposed to COVID-19 when performing their duties is eligible to participate. To be part of the lawsuit, federal employees must sign up online at HazardPayLawsuit.com.

Lastly, Bell discussed current contract negotiations for VA employees. He said he is optimistic talks will be fruitful, given the pro-labor outlook of the Biden Administration.

Listen to the entire episode to learn more about these topics:


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