|By Bankass.com on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 1:34 pm: Edit Post|
We as Separated Peace Corps Veterans, we are approximately 60,000 plus since the inception of Peace Corps. If George Bush wants more people to serve he should help us get our records cleaned up and then we will be able to serve our government again as a trained Peace Corps unit. He won't. 7,000 more volunteers and 10 have died since 1996. Check out Bankass.com. We need two volunteers assigned at every site throughout the world. That is real security. The Congress doesn't even hold hearings on these matters. Why don't we get danger pay after service, why don't peace corps volunteers get veteran rights like the military, why don't we have legal representation like every branch of the military.
1. Safety: We demand Peace Corps place 2 volunteers in every village or site in the world. Groups would be a better idea since 75% are now women volunteers at particular Peace Corps locations. That men and women are paired together at site locations due to cultural differences within given countries.
2. A Mediation Service or a Separation Board Establishment: That a Separation Board made up of former volunteers be established to mediate disputed separations with the Agency. ( The Congress should authorize this board to be the mediator in disputed claims such as possible Medical Issues, Coercive Discharge, Constructive Termination cases, physical disability claims, Administrative Separations, Programming disputes and reasonable resolutions, Separations related to United States civic participation issues, sexual lifestyle issues, gender issues, ethnic background disputes and resolutions, Libel and Slander issues in Volunteer's official records including ( Description of Service, Country File and Medical Files), Death related issues and family services and any other reason a volunteer feels they deserve a hearing to continue service once being separated early.) 2 A. Legal Representation: That Separated Peace Corps Veterans have legal representation in disputes with the Agency. (Volunteers did not go through a long application process and service so that they have to spend their own resources defending themselves against an Agency they served.) (Currently, Peace Corps has a legal team in the General Counsel's Office that works on behalf of Peace Corps and does not look out for the volunteer's rights).
3. GAO Report: To have the GAO (Government Accounting Office) do a Comprehensive study on all aspects of separations from Peace Corps service over its forty years. (A partial termination GAO report does exist. Congressman John Conyers initiated a GAO report many years ago, Separated Peace Corps Veterans were not included in their study.) We have one coming on Safety Issues, however this does not include Separated Peace Corps Veteran issues.
4. Equal Rights as Veterans: That all Separated Peace Corps Veterans have the same rights as Return Peace Corps Volunteers.
5. Attrition Rate Reduction: That Peace Corps makes it a priority to reduce separations 5% or lower at Peace Corps as a fundamental goal.
6. Health Care, Occupational Safety and Medical Rights: That Peace Corps Medical Service be scrutinized for their practices. Peace Corps medical services is not a hospital and should not be able to diagnose any volunteer until the Agency is formally registered with the American Medical Association and is registered as a hospital in the District of Columbia. Despite the recent testimony by the Inspector General at Peace Corps, we believe Peace Corps Medical Services provides sub standard care and has committed civil rights violations against SPCV's on a class action level. (Last week a volunteer died after being cleared by Medical Services and sent home). All Volunteers should be checked of all Tropical Diseases before they leave service.
7. Medical Services Changes to happen: That any volunteer has the right to have their choice of Doctor (any AMA certified Doctor) if the diagnosis Peace Corps could be separation threatening. (This would assist SPCV's from being mandated that they have to go through Peace Corps contracted Doctor's in order to stay in service.)
8. Rights of Informational Disemination: The Returned Peace Corps Volunteer lounge provides SPCV's with adequate space to post our concerns as SPCV's.
9. Employment Development for Veterans: The Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Counselor is non discriminatory in providing employment opportunities to SPCV's. That is giving us RPCV status for non competitive eligibility to federal jobs. Also, eligibility for educational fellowships provided to RPCV's and not SPCV's.
10. Organizational Sturcture and Rights of Volunteers: Establishment for a Separated Peace Corps Veterans organization with authorization from the US Congress and Senate. Currently, all Military "volunteers" have veteran administrations. We are volunteers who serve our nation too in often very difficult spots. SPCV's were "Volunteers" during service. We need the same protection vietnam veterans, Gulf war veterans and any other war service to our nation receive. Peace Corps has attorney's working for Peace Corps administration rights, we need a lawyer protecting us and our US citizenship rights.