GI VA Workers' Union members protest contract negotiations

A Grand Island VA Workers' Union member protests the Trump Administration's negotiations on their contracts. (KSNB)

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Contract negotiations are going on between the Veterans Affairs Workers' Union and the federal government. Some members of the local branch of the union took to the streets in protest of how things are going.

There are about 400 union members in the area. Some members said they are concerned the current administration is moving towards privatizing VA medical care. Some said they fear they will lose their jobs. One veteran said this could lead to worse working conditions for union workers.

“Their initial proposal was to eliminate 20 articles out of our current contract all together and modify another 11 to say deemed necessary by the law or something to that effect but it's basically to gut our workforce,” Grand Island VA Workers’ Union President Dan Harp said.

He says some of the things they are looking to get rid of are protections for whistle-blowers and ways to voice grievances.

“We would like to keep our current contract. I mean it's functional, works great,” Harp said. “We're here to serve the veterans, we're going to stay here to serve the veterans regardless of what happens. But we need to do it with support from the administration.”

The union members said they want to have a fair workplace to continue to serve veterans and keep workers’ rights. This protest is in solidarity with other union protests around the country.