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About Us

AFGE Local 520 is comprised of employees of the VA Regional Office (VARO) at 6437 Garners Ferry Rd., Columbia, SC 29209.

The National conversation about what is wrong with the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) and its inability to improve the processing of claims for veterans has been the topic of a number of Congressional hearings and numerous articles over the past 6 months.

However, what has been missing from the conversation is the voice of the employees who are charged with working these claims with ineffective leadership, inadequate training, and tools that are not ready for prime time.

Over the past 12 years, AFGE Local 520 has witnessed two attempts by the VBA to improve the claims benefits process, the actions of the Columbia VARO which epitomizes the VBA culture, and now another attempt to transform the claims process. We conclude as previous VBA reports and two former Under Secretaries of VBA confirm that the lack of accountability/leadership continues to plague claims processing.

AFGE Local 520 has knocked on the doors of the VA Chain of Command, Congressional leaders and other stakeholders through written correspondence and direct actions over the past 6 years to no avail. Therefore, we concluded that there is great hypocrisy in our Democracy.

The system has tried to defeat our efforts. However, the employees of the Columbia VARO will never give up our efforts for REAL CHANGE because Veterans and their survivors deserve it, employees desperately need it, the Nation must demand it, and we believe that God with your help will bring it to pass.

The purpose of this website is: