The Veterans Affairs Department had intended to reclassify positions in order to reduce more than 6,000 job descriptions to 1,200 by April 2014. (Staff file photo)
In response to protests, the Veterans Affairs Department has delayed its effort to downgrade the jobs of patient support assistants, housekeepers and other support staff, according to the American Federation of Government Employees.
VA intended to reclassify positions in order to reduce more than 6,000 job descriptions to 1,200 by April 2014 — which would result in downgrades of employees at the lower end of the General Schedule grades, such as GS-5s and GS-4s, according to AFGE.
But VA’s human resources office issued a letter July 3 calling for a “temporary stand down on changes to lower grade actions.” The department has also established a working group to work with AFGE when reclassifying employees.
“The bullying of the lowest wage earners under the pretense of saving a few dollars must end. It has severely harmed the agency’s morale and impeded patient care,” said AFGE National President John Gage.
VA did not respond to requests for comment.