FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 21, 2000

Magda Lynn Seymour
Diane S. Witiak
(202) 639-6419

AFGE Fights for and Wins Annual Pay Raise for VA Nurses

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)- The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) applauds the passage of legislation today that would guarantee Veterans Affairs (VA) registered nurses an annual pay raise and to improve the pay of dentists and pharmacists who work at the VA.

"AFGE has fought for many years to change the VA nurse pay system and today when key components of AFGE authored legislation were passed by the House of Representatives, AFGE won this fight," stated AFGE National President Bobby L. Harnage. H.R. 5109, which passed the House by a vote of 411 to 0, guarantees that no VA nurse would ever again be denied an annual pay raise or receive a negative pay adjustment.

AFGE's vigilance in fighting for caregivers and the veterans they serve was recognized on the House floor by several lawmakers. "Special thanks are also due to the American Federation of Government Employees, which has worked tirelessly to make sure VA nurses were 'guaranteed' a raise, and would settle for nothing less. We wouldn't be here without the help of AFGE. . . ," said Representative Steve LaTourette (R-OH).

AFGE opposes a provision also included in H.R. 5109 which would change the mission of the VA from providing direct health care to referring veterans to non-DVA health care providers. "AFGE is fortified by today's victory on VA pay and we will move forward to the Senate to remove this voucher-like proposal from the bill," emphasized Harnage.

The American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, is the largest union for government employees, representing 600,000 federal workers in the United States and overseas, as well as employees of the District of Columbia. AFGE represents some 125,000 VA employees nationwide.

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The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia. For the latest AFGE news and information, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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