Chairman Bost, Ranking Member Takano Introduce VA Correct Compensation Act
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Mike Bost (R-IL) and Ranking Member Mark Takano (D-CA) introduced H.R. 6538, the VA Correct Compensation Act, which would amend existing law to allow for certain healthcare providers at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to grieve errors in their compensation.
“As a proud former union firefighter, I know the important role unions play in ensuring employees receive their hard-earned salary,” said Chairman Bost. “But right now, certain VA healthcare professionals don’t have the right to grieve an incorrect paycheck. I’m proud to lead the VA Correct Compensation Act alongside my friend, Ranking Member Takano, to do right by VA’s workforce and ensure VA healthcare professionals would have the collective bargaining rights they have earned when it comes to holding VA accountable to correctly compensate its employees. On behalf of the men and women who serve our nation’s veterans well, I look forward to considering this bill in our Committee soon.”
Ranking Member Takano said, “Passing the VA Correct Compensation Act would be an important step towards ensuring that those who serve veterans received the correct compensation they are owed and creates greater transparency within VA for its medical staff. For too long, VA healthcare staff have struggled to receive these basic compensation rights that would allow them to use union grievance processes when their pay is incorrect. Currently, many healthcare professionals are unable to collectively bargain when they experience an underpayment or other payroll error. This bill will hold VA accountable and will ensure VA healthcare providers receive the compensation to which they are entitled. I want to thank Chairman Bost for his support of this bill, which I believe will help us continue to recruit and retain the best and brightest VA work force.”
Under current law, certain medical professionals employed at VA cannot exercise collective bargaining rights when there is an error in their compensation. This is not the case for most other staff at VA and other Federal employees. The VA Correct Compensation Act would define exactly what components of compensation can be negotiated to ensure that VA healthcare providers are receiving the correct compensation for their work helping our nation’s veterans. To learn more about H.R. 6538, click here. Bill text can be found here.
“For more than 30 years, hardworking Veterans Affairs healthcare providers including physicians, registered nurses, physician assistants, dentists, and more, have lost out on wages due to the VA’s over-broad use of its legal authority, preventing federal unions from ensuring the accuracy of paychecks, by remedying routine payroll errors through the grievance process,” said AFGE National President Everett Kelley. “During a time where fully staffing veteran healthcare facilities remains a top priority for both AFGE and VA, it is imperative that this technical correction is made to ensure that those who care for our veterans are compensated correctly. On behalf of the 304,000 VA workers represented by AFGE, a third of whom are veterans themselves, AFGE thanks Ranking Member Takano and Chairman Bost for their bipartisan leadership on this issue, and we call on Congress to pass the VA Correct Compensation Act.”
“Every dedicated VA employee deserves to be fairly compensated for the incredible work they do in caring for America’s Veterans,” said NFFE National President Randy Erwin. “For over three decades, VA registered nurses, physicians, physician assistants, dentists, and others have been barred from having their union file grievances about payroll errors, leading to unjust wage losses. The VA Correct Compensation Act is a simple, but necessary fix to this problem. NFFE applauds Ranking Member Takano and Chairman Bost for their leadership on this issue, and we urge Congress to pass this bipartisan legislation as soon as possible.”
“The dedicated nurses, doctors, and other health care workers at the Veterans Affairs Department who provide vital services to veterans and their loved ones have earned good pay and benefits. The VA Correct Compensation Act recognizes this fact by allowing workers to have a process to get the pay they deserve. We thank the House Veterans Affairs Committee for their bipartisan work to address this omission by introducing this legislation,” said SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry.