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. Similar differences of opinion exist in the administration of social security. The provisions of the current contract, under which, under the specified VA, various activities would continue to provide and support child care needs, were removed. Instead, VA`s new proposals indicate that the department will “continue its efforts to ensure adequate financial resources to support the child care of its staff.” For AFGE, the union said it did not have enough people and time to deal with employee claims and disputes. AFGE should recruit more representatives working exclusively for the union to respond to the demands and concerns of VA employees, which was already difficult, Cann said. VA`s proposals would reduce official time, ban union representatives with offices, equipment, accessories and car parks, and end working groups for both parties. A provision codifying a worker`s rights under the Whistleblower Protection Act and predicting the role of VA in the annual training and notification of these rights to employees has been removed. The passport panel recently looked at a series of disputes between the Ministry of Health and Human Services and the National Union of Treasury Workers. The panel has largely rewritten more than a dozen proposals for collective bargaining.

The new contract could be extended by one year until one of the parties decides to reopen, while va`s new proposals would change these procedures. The department proposed that a new contract be maintained for ten years after it came into force, instead of three years after the existing treaty. In the area of telework, VA also proposes some changes to the existing language of the treaty. “There wouldn`t be enough people to do the work,” he said. “There would be a lot of employment actions where people would not be represented, and many treaty violations, for which we would not be able to customize them. In addition, VA employees would no longer be able to use the union`s appeal procedure to challenge performance discipline, according to the department`s proposals. All complaints must be filed at the national level, not by the local union representative or by the management of a worker. But the two sides agreed on 18 weeks of negotiations, scheduled for the end of the year, Cann said. Negotiations will begin on May 27. The proposals would also eliminate 28 items from AFGE`s existing collective agreement with LA VA, meaning the union cannot negotiate a large number of issues. Articles on telework, relocations, temporary reallocations, transport and other topics have been largely deleted and optimized. Other federal agencies and unions were also involved in heated negotiations last year.

VA also offers additional discounts on official time. The department does not want to allow more than 10,000 hours of official time per year for the entire bargaining unit, which has about 250,000 members. Several of these proposals have been made public by some agencies over the past year, and some essentially reflect some of the provisions of the president`s executive orders in 2018, which were struck down by a federal district court last August. The Trump administration is currently appealing the decision.