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VA Union Workers Protest Staff Shortages In Reno

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Union workers for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Nevada are protesting staff shortages they say are preventing veterans from getting the quality health care they deserve.

Members of the American Federation of Government Employees organized a demonstration Tuesday outside the federal building on the south edge of Reno's downtown casino district.

Local union president John Copeland said Tuesday the more than 49,000 staff vacancies nationwide are creating risks to patient safety and a hazardous work environment for people working at the VA.

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Union leaders are demanding Congress and the Trump administration fill all VA vacancies immediately. They're also urging lawmakers to bolster existing VA services instead of sending veterans to private health care facilities outside the department for treatment.