Union members fighting for fair contact protest outside Tampa VA Hospital

Local News

TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) – Members of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 547 chapter protested outside of James A. Haley VA Hospital in Tampa Saturday morning.

“From the EMS workers all the way up to the doctors we are fighting for hazardous duty pay,” said AFGE Local 547 President Wanda Bellamy-White.

Bellamy-White, along with other Tampa union members, stood outside the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital protesting.

“Part of that contract negotiation is that the VA wants to take away our right to say anything about safety and hazardous conditions,” Bellamy-White said. “They don’t want the employee to have a voice or a right, they want to take that out of our contract.”

She adds they are asking to keep a sufficient amount of PPE ready for workers.

“They are adequately staffed now, but we want to make sure they are completely staffed with PPE. We don’t want to take our foot off the gas pedal, the fall is coming. The flu season, COVID hasn’t gone away,” added Bellamy-White.

8 On Your Side reached out to the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital for comment about today’s protest. Here is there response:

“The health and well-being of the facility’s staff and veterans is always our top concern. This protest does not reflect our robust safety practices, which have proven effective. Many of the demands are already part of the facility’s operational response to this pandemic and have been for months.”

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