Today is the anniversary of President Barack Obama’s signing of the Veterans’ Skills to Job Act. This piece of legislation made it easier for veterans to transfer the skills they earned in the military into the licenses they need for joining the civilian workforce. This legislative achievement along with other was put in place to make the transitioning part easier for employment. The Veterans Skills to Jobs Act is a fantastic program, but the best part of it is under attack.
Veterans reentering the civilian world benefit from security and routine. There are 635,000+ veterans in the federal workforce, and the Administration has lodged large-scale attacks on their labor rights and their livelihoods. Public sector jobs offer them the stability, benefits, and wages that they deserve. Since the current Congress passed the Veterans Affairs Accountability Act, firings at the VA went up 60%, with significant impacts on Veterans’ services.
The Union Veterans Council brings working-class veterans together on the issues that impact us every day. Through advocating for programs like the Utility Worker Military Assistance Program
and Helmets to Hardhats, the Labor Movement is doing its part to provide opportunities for steady and stable jobs for the men and women who serve our country.
The Allegheny-Fayette Central Labor Council chartered Pennsylvania’s first chapter of the Union Veterans Council, chaired by Craig Romanovich, UWUA Local 443 member and 8 year veteran of the U.S. Army. “I’m glad that so many changes were made during the Obama-era to give veterans opportunity. The Allegheny Chapter of the Union Veterans Council will continue to fight back attempts to roll back this progress and ensure good opportunities for veterans” said Chairman Craig Romanovich.
The Allegheny Chapter of the Union Veterans Council aims to make Public Sector Safety and Health Protections (HB 1082) a priority for their work here in Pennsylvania. Currently, state and local employees have no safety and health protections on the job. In the long-term, they hope to work on helping homeless veterans transition to permanent housing and get the support they need.
Pennsylvania ranks fourth in the country in terms of veteran density. 19.7% of Pennsylvania’s veterans work in the Public Sector.