Saturday, May 31, 2014

Big Labor’s VA Choke Hold

WSJ: Big Labor’s VA Choke Hold - Fox Nation:
"We know with certainty that there is at least one person the Department of Veterans Affairs is serving well.
That would be the president of local lodge 1798 of the National Federation of Federal Employees.
The Federal Labor Relations Authority, the agency that mediates federal labor disputes, earlier this month ruled in favor of this union president, in a dispute over whether she need bother to show up at her workplace—the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Martinsburg, W.Va.
According to FLRA documents, this particular VA employee is 100% "official time"—D.C. parlance for federal employees who work every hour of every work day for their union, at the taxpayer's expense.

In April 2012, this, ahem, VA "employee" broke her ankle and declared that she now wanted to do her nonwork for the VA entirely from the comfort of her home.
Veterans Affairs attempted a compromise:
Perhaps she could, pretty please, come in two days a week? 
She refused, and complained to the FLRA that the VA was interfering with her right to act as a union official.
The VA failed to respond to the complaint in the required time (perhaps too busy caring for actual veterans) and so the union boss summarily won her case.

The VA battle is only just starting, but any real reform inevitably ends with a fight over organized labor.
Think of it as the federal version of Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan and other states where elected officials have attempted to rein in the public-sector unions that have hijacked government agencies for their own purpose.
Fixing the VA requires first breaking labor's grip, and the unions are already girding for that fight."

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