Health care professionals working for the Veterans Affairs hospital in Las Vegas are underpaid compared with their private sector counterparts in the area. But thanks to the activism of AFGE Local 1224, the VA hospital agreed to give Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) a 12% pay raise!
Local 1224, which represents employees at the hospital, had been urging the agency to conduct market pay surveys for all Title 38 and Hybrid employees as stated in the VA handbook, but the VA repeatedly failed to do so during the Trump administration and the Covid-19 outbreak.
The local then planned to hold a rally on Oct. 14 to shine a spotlight on these continued failures. But management got wind of the rally and asked the local to put it on hold. They met with the local and nurse practitioners and agreed the employees’ raise would be signed off in two weeks.
“We informed the agency, as I always do, to let them know ‘Unfortunately, we are not able to agree and I therefore have a rally planned.’ The deputy director immediately asked if we could postpone the rally because they would like to present a few things they have been working on. I agreed but stated this would be a postponement and not a cancellation,” said Local 1224 President Linda Ward-Smith.
Ward-Smith said management promised to have a pay schedule signed off by the next pay period. If they failed to follow through, the rally would resume.
They signed an agreement for the 12% pay raise for APRNs Oct. 20. Other professionals are getting their pay schedules reviewed as well, and many employees have seen an increase in pay.