The body removed several articles from the agreement and removed others, said Ibidun Roberts, who represents NVAC. The Department of Veterans Affairs proposed a new collective agreement with the American Federation of Government Employees on May 2, one that agency officials say will improve medical care, customer service and employee responsibility. “There is no agreement within the federal government that has such language,” he said. “The closest thing is that [the provisions regarding] arbitrators` fees are. Some contracts would say that the arbitration fees are fully paid by the losing party, but that is rare. NVAC and negotiations initially reached an impasse in December 2019 and triggered the awarding of the contract to FSIP. Another unusual aspect of the proposed contract is its duration. Under the conditions set by the department, the collective agreement would be in force for ten years. And it removes the re-opening clause from the previous agreement, which is a standard part of an employment services contract that allows the parties to reopen to the renegotiation of the parts of an agreement before its expiry date. The existing VA-AFGE agreement did not indicate the expectation that employees would work in the office for at least four days.
NVAC submitted an application to the Federal Labor Relations Authority, the parent authority of the FSIP, to stay the decision until the pending appeals concerning several articles of the agreement and the constitutionality of the appointment of FSIP members are clarified. However, union officials say the proposed agreement deprives us of important safeguards offered under the current agreement, which covers about 250,000 Agency workers. Ibidun Roberts: Well, the current agreement is what we call rushed, once the VA has opened it, our language in the Treaty says that the provisions will continue until we reach a new agreement. So that`s where we`re with the current agreement, it`s continuing until we get to a new one. So we negotiated with the VA for half a month, and the VA requested the services of the Federal Service Impasses Panel, which is the authority of the federal government to break the deadlock. Like us government employees, we cannot go on strike, someone has to break the deadlock, and that is what this agency is doing. VA asked for your help. They asked us to defend our proposals in an opinion that had to be issued on June 3. Then we had the opportunity to refute the other`s arguments, and it was just July 5. For now, the council is arguing.
” The service will not put in place a permanent number of weekdays at which follow-up officers will be able to declare a telework contract at their official site,” says the VA proposal. “However, staff should expect to be reported at least four days a week to the site and official service. For employees with a compressed work schedule, the employee`s normal day (s) is counted as a day outside the official workplace for the purposes of that language. The two sides agreed in April, after months of disagreement, on the ground rules for future negotiations. The Federal Service Impasses Panel weighed in during this process after VA initially declared that both parties were at a standstill. The new agreement would also strengthen front-line superiors, streamline the recruitment and training process, and ensure that the agreement does not encroach on agency modernization laws, according to the VA press release.