In the end, the union was faced with a decision: drop all ongoing litigation regarding the SSA`s bargaining contract, which included two lawsuits and nine complaints, and negotiate with the Agency – or have the panel resolve the deadlock on the remaining articles of the existing AFGE contract. In the meantime, SSA has stated that it will begin implementing the provisions of the Chair`s personnel decisions under the second option. Ibidun Roberts: Oh yes. The VA is therefore seeking 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 changes are happening as well. And if these changes happen, we want to be able to open the agreements and accept those changes. And this is especially true for the VA, which has had a number of changes. For example, the Accountability Act is an important change that we want to include in the agreement.

Another is President Trump`s executive orders, if we had a 10-year agreement, we would not be able to get changes, like the ones I just mentioned. A shorter term is better than a 10-year term. Tom Temin: Okay, and before I go into some of those details, I mentioned about a quarter of a million, I think there are 270,000 employees on the National Council goes to AFGE. Is there an agreement for everyone in the Council? 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. » The commitment and commitment of all those involved in these difficult negotiations was the reason an agreement was reached,» richard Giacolone, head of the agency and president-elect for the position of director of the FMCS, said in a statement on Monday. «This resolution is proof of the power of good faith negotiations, where both sides are ready to come to the negotiating table, put aside their differences and work towards a mutual agreement that respects the interests of both sides. I commend the leaders of the SSA and AFGE for their commitment to resolving these difficult issues in a spirit of constructive engagement. Ibidun Roberts: So what we`re looking for in the treaty is really the procedures, right? You can`t negotiate the law itself. Congress has deemed this law appropriate, so we can only carry out the procedure. For example, the law reduced the time it takes employees to take action to 15 days.

Therefore, as soon as the VA submits a deportation proposal to a staff member, it has seven days to respond to this proposal. And then, within a fortnight, eight days after its response, the VA must make a decision. This really reduces the time that the union can look for evidence to help and actually give the answer to that employee. To meet with the employee, gather evidence and formulate a response. It`s really too insensible. And if you add that the union is not in the facility now, I`m sure we`ll get there, it makes it a lot harder to meet an employee to meet a move, a big upheaval in their lives.