On Tuesday, the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity held a hearing to discuss how much time VA employees should be allowed to spend on union activities, known as official time. Subcommittee members argued whether official time detracts from VA’s ability to provide care to veterans or if it serves to improve quality of care. AFGE Local 390 President Shirley Parker Blommel testified that she uses official time to address problems at the St. Cloud VA Health Care System which interfere or impede delivery of care to veterans. VA supported a bill introduced by chairman Arrington which would limit how much time VA employees can spend on official time to ensure VA health care personnel can spend more time caring for veterans rather than union duties. View a webcast of the hearing.