Union workers blame VA Secretary Shulkin for staff shortages at veterans hospitals

VA

By Andrew Craft

N.Y., dozens of protesters took to the streets this past weekend to demand that Shulkin use the money Congress appropriated to the agency to hire more workers.

Critics say the VA facilities do not have enough workers to provide adequate healthcare – and veterans are suffering and even dying as a result of the shortage.

“Congress has given the secretary the money to fill them and he’s not filling the positions,” said J. David Cox, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, the country’s largest union of federal workers.

As of last month, the department had around 35,000 full-time vacancies, according to VA Press Secretary Curtis Cashour. He defended the number, saying it was drastically less than the hospital shortages in the private sector.

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