Tom Temin: Okay, and before I get into some of those details, I mentioned about a quarter of a million, I think there are 270,000 employees at AFGE`s National VA Council. Is there an agreement for everyone in the Council? Ibidun Roberts: Of course, and we just talked about it, Tom, but the official time even with the executive orders, and apparently we don`t agree with the legality, requires that the VA and the union agree on what will be in the official time. We do not believe that it can be set unilaterally. But even with that, the VA has so many factors that the union must have more than an hour per bargaining unit employee. Here too, we have just mentioned the law on liability, no other authority deals with the same law. This union cannot therefore be treated in the same way as others when we are faced with this single law that shortens the time for these serious actions, it in turn involves distances. Under Minister Shulkin, he also limited the number of comparisons that could result from these actions. If a comparison required more than US$5,000, it had to go through higher levels of approval. And what we`ve seen is that the VA is not so open to settling cases. So there are more cases that are advanced, which means it takes longer. So we have a few unique factors that would require us to have more formal time than some of the other unions, some of the other non-VA unions. And I think history shows that we`re not looking for more time than we need. Our current contract gives us 4.25 hours per bargaining unit employee, the OPM report shows that we use about 3.7 hours.
So we are not taking the time we need here and the factors of the VA – accountability act, not the resolution of cases – actually require that we need more time rather than less. In its proposed settlement agreement, FLRA proposed that the EPO withdraw the contract it had originally imposed on the union and agree to return to the negotiating table with AFGE. Ibidun Roberts: Oh yes. The VA is therefore aiming for a ten-year contract. We are looking for the traditional three-year contract. There are many reasons for this. One of them is that other unions can challenge our certification after three years, but there are also changes. And if these changes happen, we want to be able to open up the agreements and incorporate those changes.
And this is particularly the case with the VA, which has had a number of changes. For example, the Liability Act is an important change that has taken place and that we want to incorporate into the agreement. Another is President Trump`s executive order, if we had a ten-year agreement, we would not be able to negotiate the inclusion of changes, like the one I just mentioned. A shorter duration is better than a duration of 10 years. Tom Temin: Give us an idea of the whole treaty in terms of the timing and expiration of the existing agreement. « This is a major step forward, but we must not be complacent, » Everett Kelley, AFGE`s national secretary and treasurer and current president, said in a statement Thursday. « We are fighting against a government that wants to deprive workers of their rights and make it harder for workers to do their jobs. We must keep up the pressure on the EPO management to respect the agreement and negotiate with us, in good faith, a new contract in accordance with the law, which will provide employees with the resources and support they need to carry out their vital mission. WASHINGTON (6 August 2020) – The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today signed a new Master Collective Bargaining Agreement (MCBA) with the EPO`s largest union, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE). The successful negotiation of a new deal is the latest step in the Trump administration`s ongoing efforts to put in place an effective and effective government.