May 4, 2018

VA Workers, Veterans Rally To Demand VA Fill Clinic Vacancies

VA employees and veterans rallied outside the Marion facility Thursday. - Zachary Herndon/WFIU-WTIU News

VA employees and veterans rallied outside the Marion facility Thursday.

Zachary Herndon/WFIU-WTIU News

A union representing federal employees is holding a series of rallies this week demanding the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs fill vacant positions at clinics across the country, including in Indiana.

The American Federation of Government Employees Local 1020 gathered outside the VA Northern Indiana Health Care System’s Marion campus Thursday.

They held signs saying “no vet should wait in line” and “49,000 VA vacancies is a disgrace.”

AFGE Local 1020 President Linda Rademaker works at the Marion campus and says they’ve struggled to fill positions there for at least the past five years.

“Each one of those vacancies represents a missed opportunity to provide services to the veterans,” she says. “The veterans didn’t serve for us to come back and not be provided the best quality care possible.”

Rademaker says she fears the VA isn’t filling jobs because it wants to move toward privatization.

The VA could not be reached for comment.

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