End The Hiring Freeze! The VA Needs Workers!
3,911 signatures toward our 30,000 Goal
Sponsor: The Veterans Site
The government hiring freeze has left 45K positions unfilled at the already understaffed VA
The current hiring freeze on government jobs is hurting those who have sacrificed the most for their country.
Nearly half a million veterans are still facing wait times of a month or longer before even seeing a doctor. A major contributor to that lag in service are the 45,000 unfilled positions, according to the New York Times, in the Department of Veterans Affairs. There is no shortage of Americans qualified to work in these positions, but as long as the hiring freeze put in place by the Trump Administration is still in effect, there are no improvements in sight at the VA, either.
The executive order issued on Monday, Jan. 23 did exempt 73 different VA jobs from the freeze, including medical practitioners, psychologists, nurses, and security guards, but support staff will not be added.
Garry Augustine, executive director of Disabled American Veterans Washington headquarters, is concerned President Trump has not considered the impact the freeze will have on veterans seeking care from the VA.
"There are more than 389,000 disability claims pending and more than 450,000 veterans awaiting appeals decisions — many seriously ill and injured — and delaying these decisions can negatively impact eligibility for the health care and benefits they earned," Augustine wrote on Jan. 27 on his organization's website.
The order was derided by every Democratic senator, and several Republicans have asked for further clarifications from the White House. VA physicians have also criticized the freeze.
"You cannot provide front-line care without the support staff," Dr. Katherine Mitchell, an emergency-room physician in the Phoenix VA Health Care System, told theNew York Times. "Doctors can't do their jobs without people to schedule appointments or clean rooms or do physical therapy. Common sense says we need all health care workers to be exempt. If not, I don't think it is a stretch to say people will die."
This sweeping measure hurts American veterans who have already given so much in fighting for our freedoms.
Sign below to tell President Trump to lift the government hiring ban and fill the tens of thousands of open positions at the VA, helping our veterans get the healthcare they deserve.
Dear President Trump,
The hiring freeze you've issued to clear up government inefficiency has only created a larger problem for those who have already sacrificed so much for our country.
Nearly half a million veterans are still facing wait times of a month or longer before even seeing a doctor. A major contributor to that lag in service are the 45,000 unfilled positions in the Department of Veterans Affairs. There is no shortage of Americans qualified to work in these positions, but as long as the hiring freeze is still in effect, we will not see any improvements at the VA, either.
According to The Agenda, the average age of a government employee is 50 years old, and with new workers blocked from coming in at entry level positions, existing hires will only cost more as they are promoted or their skills become obsolete. With an already aging workforce, qualified talent is going to be even harder for federal employers to find as time goes on.
Doctors can't do their jobs without people to schedule appointments or clean rooms or do physical therapy. Common sense says we need all health care workers to be exempt. If not, people will die.
President Trump, it is up to you to end the hiring freeze and allow our qualified citizens to fill the positions so desperately needed at the VA. It's the only way we will see an improvement in the care for our veterans.