Vote for Vets & Donovan Slack / USA TODAY – 2017-01-26 00:44:27
ACTION ALERT: Trump’s Cuts Put Vets’ Lives at Risk
(January 25, 2017) — More than 15,000 people have signed our petition calling on Donald Trump reverse his federal hiring freeze executive order that disproportionately impacts veterans. Since then, we’ve gotten some bad news: apparently the hiring freeze includes the VA, where there are 2,000 current job openings that will remain unfilled.
VoteVets senior advisor Peter Kauffmann shared his thoughts in the USA Today, saying that it would be the “ultimate insult to our men and women who serve to deny them the additional doctors, nurses, therapists, and administrators that are sorely needed at the VA. If his (order) leads to preventable deaths, that will be on Donald Trump’s hands, and we will hold him personally accountable.”
Right now, veterans make up about 31 percent of the federal workforce in the United States of America.
And what that means is that Donald Trump’s hiring freeze hits veterans harder than almost any other group, including unemployed veterans who would have had a great shot at getting new jobs, thanks to President Obama’s Veterans Employment Initiative.
This is important stuff, and it’s critical that we all make our voices heard.
ACTION:Call on Donald Trump to reverse his federal hiring freeze.
Sign our petition calling on Donald Trump to reverse his federal hiring freeze or to detail a specific plan immediately that will help put veterans across the country to work.
Thank you for adding your name.
The team at VoteVets
VoteVets Slams Donald Trump’s
Executive Order Punishing Veterans
WASHINGTON, DC (January 24, 2017) — Donald Trump signed an order yesterday that freezes pay for hundreds of thousands of veterans, potentially shuts tens of thousands more out of a job, and seems to starve the Department of Veterans Affairs of workers it desperately needs.
“That didn’t take long. In just his third day in office, Donald Trump screwed hundreds of thousands of veterans out of better pay, and thousands more out of potential jobs,” said Peter Kauffmann, Senior Adviser to VoteVets.
“Veterans who have families to feed, who may be saving up for a home, all of them have been let down by Donald Trump. This shouldn’t be shocking. Donald Trump lobbied New York to kick disabled veterans, working as vendors, out from in front of Trump Tower. He has always been hostile to working veterans.”
“What we still do not know is whether the Department of Veterans Affairs is also subject to his hiring and pay freeze. It would be the ultimate insult to our men and women who serve to deny them the additional doctors, nurses, therapists, and administrators that are sorely needed at the VA,” Kauffmann added. “If his Executive Order leads to preventable deaths, that will be on Donald Trump’s hands, and we will hold him personally accountable.”
The Executive Order, signed by Trump, freezes pay and hiring for all Federal agencies with few exemptions. The Federal workforce is 31% veteran, meaning roughly 623,000 veterans depend on Federal jobs and pay.
Further, for those unemployed veterans seeking work, Federal jobs are a prime destination, thanks to a 2009 executive order signed by President Barack Obama, establishing the Veterans Employment Initiative. That order instructed agencies to identify and hire qualified veterans for job openings. Trump’s hiring freeze means no jobs are now open for veterans, at affected agencies.
It is unclear as to whether the Department of Veterans Affairs will be granted an exemption to the hiring and pay freeze. According to VA officials in California, they have not yet received any instructions as to whether they can, or cannot hire the psychologists, nurses, and social workers for which they currently have job postings.
Founded in 2006, and backed by over 450,000 supporters, the mission of VoteVets.org is to use public issue campaigns and direct outreach to lawmakers to ensure that troops abroad have what they need to complete their missions, and receive the care they deserve when they get home.
VoteVets.org also recognizes veterans as a vital part of the fabric of our country and will work to protect veterans’ interests in their day-to-day lives. VoteVets.org is committed to the destruction of terror networks around the world — with force when necessary — to protect America. While non-partisan, the group is the largest progressive organization of veterans in America.
Trump Hiring Freeze Includes the Short-staffed VA
Donovan Slack / USA TODAY
WASHINGTON (January 24, 2017) — A federal hiring freeze imposed by President Trump on Monday affects thousands of open jobs at the Department of Veterans Affairs, despite the half-million veterans still waiting longer than a month for VA appointments.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer confirmed Tuesday that the VA is covered under the freeze, which exempted the military and other positions deemed necessary for national security and public safety.
He said the administration wanted to make sure Trump’s pick to lead the VA, current Undersecretary for Health at the agency David Shulkin, is confirmed.
“Right now, the system’s broken,” Spicer said, adding that the freeze is meant only to “pause” hiring until further analysis can be done and a plan put in place to fix things.
“When you have a system that’s not working, and then going out and hiring additional people doesn’t seem to be the most efficient way of solving the problem,” he said. “What we need to do, whether it’s the VA or any other agency, is make sure that we’re hiring smartly and effectively and efficiently.
“And I think the VA in particular, if you look at the problems that have plagued people, hiring more people isn’t the answer, it’s hiring the right people, putting the procedures in place that ensure that our veterans — whether health care or mortgages or the other services that VA provides to those who have served our nation — get the services that they’ve earned.”
The order Trump signed does not cover hires already in the works before Monday. But the VA is currently advertising to fill more than 2,000 job openings on the federal hiring website, including for hundreds of nurses and doctors. Shulkin has told USA TODAY that one of his top priorities is getting fully staffed up.
After Spicer’s remarks, the VA said it planned to take advantage of the hiring freeze’s allowances for public safety needs.
“The Department of Veterans Affairs intends to exempt anyone it deems necessary for public safety, including frontline caregivers,” Acting VA Secretary Robert Snyder said in a statement.
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