The VA Employee Fairness Act
Section 7422 of Title 38 of the U.S. Code limits the collective-bargaining rights of certain Veterans Affairs (VA) clinical professionals, including registered nurses. This section restricts the ability of registered nurses to speak out about poor working conditions and to resolve disputes with management. As a result, the quality of patient care can deteriorate and problems in VA facilities can go unaddressed.
The VA Employee Fairness Act would improve patient care in VA hospitals by expanding the collective-bargaining rights of registered nurses and other clinicians employed by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The VA Employee Fairness Act passed the House of Representatives in December 2022 with bipartisan support.
In historic vote, U.S. House passes legislation to grant VA nurses full collective bargaining rights
National Nurses United applauded the passage by the U.S. House of Representatives of a bill that would give VA nurses and other clinicians full collective bargaining rights. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mark Takano, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, passed with bipartisan support by a margin of 219 to 201 on Dec. 15, 2022.
NNU Vice President and VA nurse Irma Westmoreland, RN, celebrates the passage of the VA Employee Fairness Act in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2022, and explains how the bill will help nurses provide better care for veterans.