By Germaine Clarno (Contact)
To be delivered to: Jeffrey Murawsky, VISN 12 Network Director, The Illinois State House, The Illinois State Senate, Governor Pat Quinn, The United States House of Representatives and 2 other targets (click here to see more)
Help stop the widespread employee harassment, retaliation, and intimidation at Edward Hines Jr. VA Medical Center!
To truly honor our veterans, we must ensure the people who care for them are respected and feel safe in their workplace. This is often not the case at Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital in Illinois, where dedicated employees have frequently been victimized by widespread harassment, retaliatory actions against those reporting abuses, bullying, and other forms of intimidation.
Upper management at Hines has not been responsive in investigating these offenses, which violate Veterans Administration policies, contractual agreements, and the constitutional rights of those victimized. In many instances, members of management have themselves been guilty of these abuses. In other instances they have ignored complaints, dismissed them outright, and used pressure and threats against some employees making these complaints.
Instances of bullying and harassment have increased exponentially, with 650 complaints in the past year as verified by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission office records. Hines management has refused to accept accountability or even conduct an open discussion on these issues, despite detailed complaints brought to their attention by employees and representatives of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 781. Members of the National Nurses Union and the Service Employees International Union have also reported similar instances of harassment.
Some of the harassment at Hines has been directed against employees who have exposed waste, fraud, and abuse at the facility. This kind of unacceptable behavior adversely affects more than just the employees who have been victimized.
Our concern is for our veterans—the men and women who have sacrificed so much for the protection and security of their fellow Americans. When employees are afraid to speak up for improvements in care and efficiency, it’s our veterans who truly pay the price. When a work environment is hostile, good healthcare workers leave. Our nation’s veterans deserve the very best healthcare available, and that cannot be provided under current conditions at Hines.
We ask you to join us in demanding accountability and more responsive action from Hines management in addressing complaints from the workforce, disciplining those who have violated proper conduct standards, and working to create a more peaceful and productive working environment.