The body removed several articles from the agreement and removed others, said Ibidun Roberts, who represents NVAC. 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. Tom Temin: Give us an idea of the situation in which the whole treaty is in terms of the timing and expiration of the existing treaty. 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. — we are only waiting for a decision from them. 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. Ibidun Roberts: That`s right. It is the master contract, the locals get certain arrangements to negotiate on the ground.