The only jobs explicitly reserved for veterans at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are low paying jobs such as janitors or housekeeping aides. In large part that is because the VA hiring practices favor union members over veterans.
The Daily Caller News Foundation discovered the problem when it did and analysis of data from https://www.usajobs.gov/USAjobs.gov, the Federal government’s official job site. According to research done by the Daily Caller, The VA only listed about 50 jobs for which they were accepting applications exclusively from veterans. The jobs were for a few hundred workers, and most of the jobs set aside for veterans pay only $13 an hour. The Daily Caller is a politically conservative news and opinion website based in Washington, D.C.
However, on the same that day the Daily Caller did the search, the VA had posted job ads for more than a thousand vacancies that were only open only to current VA employees. Many of those jobs had no special skill requirements.
It is easy to verify what the Daily Caller staff found.
- Go to https://www.usajobs.gov/
- On the right side of the screen, under the Search button, click on the link to Advanced.
- Click on the triangle next to the words Department and Agency. This opens a submenu.
- In the Show Available Jobs In files, type in Department of Veterans Affairs.
- When the submenu appears, select Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs – Agency Wide.
- Scroll down until you see the Who May Apply section.
- Click on the bullet next to Yes – I fall into one of these categories and want to see all jobs open to applicants with the above eligibilities, such as federal employees.
- This is true, since we are looking for a job for, “A Veteran eligible for veterans’ preference or separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions after 3 years or more of continuous military service?
- Click on the Search Jobs button.
On January 27, 2016 this displayed a list of 183 jobs on eight web pages. The first web page contained “1 to 25 of 183 jobs”.
- Supervisory Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
- Medical Technologist/Clinical Laboratory Scientist (Technical Specialist: Chemistry
- General Engineer
- Nurse Practitioner (Primary Care)
- Nurse Manager (Utilization Management)
- Medical Technologist/Clinical Laboratory Scientist (Technical Specialist: Blood Bank)
- Electrical Engineer
- Nursing Assistant Psychiatry
- Purchasing Agent
- Lead Medical Technologist: Microbiology
- Registered Nurse – Fort Detrick Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC)
- Physician (Vascular Surgeon)
- Registered Nurse – LTC – 5C
- Nursing Assistant – CLC-A
- Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) – Outpatient Specialty Clinics
- Registered Nurse – ICU
- Psychologist – HBPC
- Psychologist – HBPC
- Lead Medical Support Assistant (Inpatient)
- Nurse (Educator)
- Human Resources Assistant (OA)
- Pharmacy Supervisor – Outpatient
- Secretary (Primary Care)
A look at the “Who May Apply” for each of those jobs showed that the job applicants were restricted to a variety of people. But not a single one of those jobs had been set aside for veterans. Some of the set aside restrictions are:
- Current RCS Region 3A Employees ONLY
- United States Citizens – Status Candidates (Merit Promotion and VEOA Eligibles)
- Current, Permanent WPB VAMC Employees in QM
- United States Citizens
- Status Candidates (Merit Promotion and VEOA Eligibles)
- Current, Permanent WPB VAMC Employees in QM Service
- US Citizens and Status Candidates
- Current Permanent Orlando and OPCs VA Employees Only
In the entire list of 183 jobs at the VA, only one is set aside for veterans. It is near the bottom of page 6. The only job set aside for veterans is a job for a Housekeeping Aid at the Alexandria VA Medical Center, in Pineville, Louisiana. The job pays $11.40 to $13.30 per hour.
There are federal laws and regulations that give veterans hiring preference in the civil service, but despite that the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) union contract requires the VA to hire bureaucrats over veterans for most jobs.
The Daily Caller article put it this way, “The Master Agreement between the VA and the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) states, “Prior to considering candidates from outside the bargaining unit, the department agrees to first consider internal candidates for selection … in all cases … first and full consideration shall be given to any best qualified candidates within the facility.”
The Master Agreement between the VA and the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is 328 pages long. It is available online. Read it and weep. Once again, the VA has thrown veterans under the bus.