August 01, 2019

Van Hollen, Senators Urge VA Secretary to End Anti-worker, Anti-union Negotiation Tactics

VA has Gone around Workers & Employed Delay Tactics; Brown Says Failing to Negotiate in Good Faith Threatens Quality of VA Services Provided to Veterans

U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) today joined a group of his Democratic colleagues urging Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert Wilkie to abandon the Department’s current destructive approach to ongoing negotiations with the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE).  Despite VA and AFGE’s history of engaging in good-faith negotiations that equally benefit employees, veterans and the Department, the current negotiating tactics undercut VA’s mission and threaten the quality of the services it is entrusted to provide to our constituents, our nation’s veterans. 

“These extreme tactics are not in the interest of VA’s federal employees, nor are they in the interests of the veterans these employees serve,” the Senators wrote. “We urge VA to return to the bargaining table with AFGE immediately to negotiate in good faith and we look forward to reviewing your response to our concerns and specific questions.” 

Joining Van Hollen in sending this letter were Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Carper (D-DE), Robert Casey, Jr. (D-PA), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Edward Markey (D-MA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tina Smith (D-MN), Tom Udall (D-NM), Mark Warner (D-VA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ron Wyden (D-OR).

A copy of the letter can be found here.