Aug 25, 2016

NAGE Local R14-8 Members Testify for Fair Wages

Recently, three members from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Topeka, Kansas, NAGE Local R14-008, spoke at the 614th Federal Prevailing Rate Advisory Committee (FPRAC) meeting to testify that federal wage system (FWS) employees at the Topeka VAMC in Shawnee County, KS, should be moved to the Kansas City wage area.

In 2015, general schedule (GS) pay scale employees in Shawnee County, KS and surrounding counties were moved from the Topeka wage area to the higher paying Kansas City wage area. The GS employee move, left FWS employees at the Topeka VAMC under the lower paid Topeka wage area.

Robert Clearwater, President NAGE Local R14-008, Victor Zimmerman, and Patrick Singer, testified that wage grade employees at the Topeka facility, which is about 15 miles from the Kansas City wage area border, regularly service VA facilities in the Kansas City wage area. They stated that employees frequently transport patients to the Leavenworth and Kansas City VAMCs, both of which are located in the Kansas City wage area. They added that engineering staff at the Topeka VAMC monitor and service maintenance issues at multiple Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOC), many of which are located in the Kansas City wage area. Additionally, they testified that drivers often deliver vehicles for repair in the Kansas City wage area and that they sometimes deliver vehicles to the CBOCs and VA hospitals in the Kansas City wage area. Topeka bus drivers also drive route with stops at the Leavenworth and Kansas City facilities, both located in the Kansas City wage area.

Victor Zimmerman said, “I am hopeful that labor and management members of the FPRAC will agree to redefine the Kansas City wage area to include Shawnee County.” He added that, “The Kansas City locality was extended to include [Topeka VAMC] GS employees, however, it is unfair that those paid according FWS were excluded, given that our work is not exclusive to the Topeka VAMC.” These hardworking employees spend a large portion of their day providing services at VA medical facilities in the Kansas City wage area. They perform their duties willingly and proudly each day, and deserve to be compensated under the Kansas City wage area.

It has not yet been decided as to when the vote to include Shawnee County, KS into the Kansas City wage area will take place. NAGE will update this story as more information becomes available.

The American Labor Movement has consistently demonstrated its devotion to the public interest. It is, and has been, good for all America. - John F. Kennedy
NAGE HEADQUARTERS 159 Burgin Parkway
Quincy, MA 02169
Main Phone: (617)376-0220
Main Fax: (617)984-5695
Union Local Tax Issues Federal law now requires that every local union file an annual information return—Form 990, 990-EZ, or 990-N—with the IRS. If your local fails to file under this new requirement.. Read more