Union files grievance against VA over EOs, failure to negotiate
- By FederalSoup Staff
- Dec 10, 2019
Department of Veterans Affairs management held a meeting on Dec. 3 with union counterparts—a meeting that in short order has led to the union filing a grievance.
The VA, the union alleges, refused to negotiate on issues that under the law must be negotiated. A crucial issue on the table was the VA’s implementation of several current White House’s Executive Orders—known as “EOs”—which many unions regard as anti-labor.
The particular union filing the complaint against VA—the American Federation of Government Employees’ National VA council—stipulated, in a press release, that management met ostensibly to discuss various articles of its new contract.
But, the union said, management “refused to discuss the implementation of the EOs even though the VA has facilities sporadically implementing them and despite our discussion of official time and the union’s use of official facilities, both of which are implicated by the EOs.”
The VA’s failure to negotiate was quite intentional, the union said, stating that the VA’s point of contact for negotiating these matters was in the building during the meeting, but simply “refused to meet with the union.”
The EOs in question are part of a pattern under the current administration of failing to attract new and existing talent at the VA, according to the union—noting also that over 49,000 job vacancies exist at the sprawling department.
“The anti-worker executive orders hurt morale and drive away doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals our veterans rely on,” the press release continued. “By refusing to bargain, VA is guaranteeing that severe staffing shortages at the agency will worsen as employees feel attacked and vulnerable to retaliation if they report safety issues, waste, fraud, or abuse.”