HuffPo: Inflated Salaries for Non-Medical VA Jobs Costing Millions

Friday, 11 Jul 2014 01:35 PM

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While the Department of Veterans Affairs struggles to hire enough medical professionals to clear patient backlogs that have become a national scandal, VA clerks, janitors and other support employees are collectively making millions of dollars more each year than they should, The Huffington Post reported.

Some 13,000 employees ranging from staff assistants to boiler plant operators are reaping the rewards of jobs that are misclassified above their proper pay grade, according to an internal VA review that was halted in 2012 after workers and their union representatives protested.

The overpayments continue, and new workers are still being hired at the inflated salaries, The Huffington Post reported.

Citing internal VA documents, The Huffington Post reported that 284 currently posted openings at USAJobs, the government's official jobs site, will result in overpayments of about $3.3. million annually when they're filled.

"For that amount of money, the VA could instead hire five neurosurgeons, 10 psychiatrists and five suicide prevention case managers at the average salaries currently offered on USAJobs," The Huffington Post's David Wood wrote.

The controversy has pitted high-level VA staffers who decide job classifications against other managers and rank-and-file workers.

The salaries dispute is playing out alongside a waiting-list scandal in which VA hospital administrators doctored paperwork to conceal patient backlogs running so severe that some ailing military veterans literally died before getting appointments.

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