WACO, TX — Members of the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 1822 hosted a rally on Wednesday afternoon outside of the Waco Veteran's Affairs Medical Center.
Alongside some VA employees, the group asked for a fair contract with their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) to be negotiated with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Association.
The organization's main concern is VA privatizing. Members expressed that the VA has already proposed to delete 42 out of the 66 article master agreement, which would cause difficulty with bargaining and leave.
"Our original contract consisted of over 60 articles, and they're trying to compress it down to less than 50, and it takes a lot of rights from employees, and we're gonna take care of our veterans the best of our ability, and they deserve to have a fair contract that treats employees fairly", said Derrick Mathis, president of AFGE Local 1822.
VA secretary Robert Wilkie released a statement saying that the presented $200 billion budget calls for an employee base of 390,000. Ten years ago, the budget was 98 billion and there were only 280,000 employees.