FMA NATIONAL PRESIDENT DENOUNCES HOUSE VOTE ON VA BONUSES - June 11, 2014
Alexandria, VA – The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved the Veterans Access to Care Act (H.R. 4810) on Tuesday, June 10. While the legislation would allow veterans to seek care at non-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities in order to receive medical care in a timely fashion, it also eliminates bonuses for every employee at the VA for three years. Federal Managers Association President Patricia Niehaus released the following statement in response to this deplorable action.
“Providing optimal medical care is the least this country can do for those who gave so much for America’s security and freedom. Improving veterans’ access to care is a goal we all share, and we support those elements of the legislation passed by the House of Representatives last night.
“Unfortunately, H.R. 4810, as passed by the House, punishes and penalizes hundreds of thousands of dedicated VA employees simply for working for the agency. It bans bonuses for any VA employee for three years, regardless of their performance. Blanket policies like this do not address the underlying problems, and this will do nothing to improve the VA.
“More than 104,000 of the men and women of the VA workforce – over 32 percent – are veterans themselves. This ill-conceived ban would therefore needlessly hurt thousands of veterans for doing absolutely nothing wrong. Additionally, the legislation would remove any incentive for those employed by the VA to go above and beyond the call of duty. The VA used to pride itself on the services its workforce provided. The best way for Congress to help restore America’s trust in the VA is to promote achievable goals, encourage and reward high performance from employees, and ensure accountability to all of our veterans.
“FMA’s mission is to advocate excellence in public service through effective management and professionalism. Sadly, with the inclusion of the unfair ban on bonuses, this bill misses the mark and we vehemently oppose it. The U.S. Congress should focus on improving the quality and access to care for all veterans – and punishing misconduct – without simultaneously harming hundreds of thousands of patriotic and innocent men and women.”