Press Release: SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana Responds to President Trump’s Decision to Freeze Wages for VA Hospital Workers and Federal Civil Servants

Reggie Wells, Environmental Management Service (EMS) at Jesse Brown VA for 14 years speaks out

Reggie Wells, Environmental Management Service (EMS) at Jesse Brown VA for 14 years speaks out

While President Trump Gives Billions of Dollars in Tax Cuts to Billionaires and the Ultra Rich Trump Continues His Attacks Against Federal Workers and Unions

For Immediate Release

Contact: scott.vogel@seiuhcil.org

(August 31st, 2018, Chicago) – As part of negotiating and passing a federal budget, President Trump stated he would freeze the already stagnant wages of VA Hospital workers and federal civil servants.  Trump falsely asserted budget constraints as his reasons and claimed the federal government simply can’t afford to pay VA workers the raises they have earned, even though our workforce at the VA provides quality healthcare and support to our nation’s veterans and their families.

Some straight talk is in order because Trump pushed for and signed into law a grossly irresponsible tax cut bill that gave billions of dollars to billionaires like himself, large corporations and big banks.

Greg Kelley, President of SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana Missouri Kansas

Greg Kelley, President of SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana Missouri Kansas

In response, Greg Kelley, President of SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana issued the following statement:

“With President Trump’s decision to freeze the wages of VA and other government workers, Trump continues to attack, undermine and devalue federal unions at every opportunity he gets.

“His latest salvo comes on the heels of a court ruling that struck down Trump’s executive orders against federal unions which essentially called the President’s actions illegal and violated longstanding policies to abide by labor contracts.

“His latest gut punch against federal workers, which includes our members at Jesse Brown and Hines VA, is meant to undermine the vital work of the federal government as a whole and a complete insult to all workers as Labor Day approaches.

“If President Trump truly cared about fixing our budget deficit, then he should immediately cancel and reverse his massive tax giveaway to the ultra-rich and large corporations.  Trump should also take the billions he just fleeced from the American people and use those dollars to fund vital programs that support working families, such as making child care more affordable, lowering student loan debt, and expanding Medicaid for low-income families and children.

“Trump’s suggested pay freeze against our VA hospital members and federal workers is nothing more than a charade derived from a tired old right-wing script meant to appeal to Trump’s anti-government base.

“We call on Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, along with the entire Illinois Congressional delegation, to stand up and fight Trump’s attacks and make sure that federal workers are paid the wages they have earned in service to our nation.”

 

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