American Federation of Government Employees Local 781 members and activists will launch a day of action at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Medical Center to educate employees and veterans on the issues of retaliation and harassment occurring at the facility.
“Our concern is for our veterans,” said AFGE Local 781 Chief Steward Germaine Clarno. “When employees are being intimidated and retaliated against for speaking up for quality care, the nation’s veterans pay the price. In order to retain the best and brightest healthcare providers, to service the needs of our nation’s heroes, we must rid our workplace of the toxic, retaliatory practices engaged in by management.”
Through Equal Employment Opportunity records, AFGE Local 781 has learned that instances of workplace bullying and harassment have increased exponentially over the past year. Members of the National Nurses United (NNU) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) have experienced these issues as well, according to AFGE Local 781.
“We have tried to work with management to find solutions to these issues,” said AFGE Local 781 President Miriam Krasno. “We’ve suggested workplace bullying training and other measures, all of which have been declined by management. When employees expose waste, fraud and abuse within our facility, they shouldn’t face retaliation and intimidation. We intend to take our message to Congress and the public in order to put an end to these harmful practices.”