Collective bargaining between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the American Federation of Government Employees has stalled for more than a year, and the COVID-19 pandemic, which has closed parts of the country and increased workload and risk to health care professionals, has only exacerbated differences between management and unions over the best administration of the confederation. However, a VA spokesperson told the Federal Times that the changes they want to implement are aimed at improving care: “Whether by condemning the MISSION Act or denouncing the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, AFGE has fought hard for the status quo and opposed attempts to improve VA`s work for veterans and their families. Unsurprisingly, AFGE took the same approach by refusing to accept the improvement of the common sense of its collective agreement. VA`s proposals on collective bargaining are designed to ensure that Veterans are at the forefront of everything we do, and we look forward to working with AFGE to achieve this goal. The union also pointed to management proposals such as, “the ministry will follow existing legislation, government rules and regulations, and department policy” would effectively exclude from negotiations on the implementation of new rules and political changes that the impsese panel found illegal. The Agency`s proposals deal with clauses that would allow executives to make unilateral discretion to make changes to the telework policy and would require the union to pay all arbitration costs, while deterring AFGE from choosing its own negotiators, according to AFGE`s submission. In arguing the official time changes, VA said the union could afford the restrictions. According to the department, in 2019, AFGE brought in more than $60 million to members of the bargaining unit. Tom Temin: We asked Veterans Affairs for an interview about it. She refused, but wrote: “AFGE fought hard for the status quo and opposed attempts to make THE VA work better for veterans and their families. Unsurprisingly, AFGE took the same approach by refusing to accept the improvement of the common sense of its collective agreement. Va`s tariff proposals, which have been negotiated for several months for basic rules approved by AFGE, are designed to ensure that Veterans are at the forefront of everything we do, and we look forward to working with AFGE to achieve this goal. ” – Again, this veterans statement.
We will publish this interview on www.FederalNewsNetwork.com/FederalDrive. Listen to the federal record on your schedule. Subscribe to Apple Podcasts or Podcastone. As a general rule, the collective agreement does not set specific limits on the number of days employees can and can telework. Linda Ward-Smith: So we have a rollover clause in the contracts negotiated in 2011. And it takes like three years. After that, it`s a rollover. So we`ve shoved it so far, and in fact, it`s still an active contract because of a rollover clause.