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A new report from the Capital Research Center finds that many veterans were put at risk as a result of health care officials doing union work full-time during the Veterans Affairs scandal.

“While veterans of the U.S. armed forces wait for health care, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is paying hundreds of its employees to work full-time for labor unions,” the reportexplained.

The practice, known as official time, allows federal workers, who also hold union leadership positions, to engage in union-related activities outside their normal jobs, such as contract negotiations and workplace grievances while still getting paid.

The report stated, “The VA actually has more employees doing union work full-time than it has staff members working under its Inspector General (IG), who is supposedly the VA’s watchdog.”

The report also found that one of the immediate consequences of the VA engaging in official time was there weren’t enough employees to help sick and injured veterans in an appropriate amount of time.

In the Phoenix VA alone, “although 1,700 veterans sat for months on a secret wait list, three VA employees never showed up to the health center and yet still received full, taxpayer-funded salaries.”

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