AFGE Local 910: News From the VA Bargaining Table
AFGE is in negotiations with the VA right now over a new contract. Here’s the latest update from the negotiating table.
Well, They Aren’t Here to Bargain
The Department isn’t here to bargain. They continually want to delete article after article. We’ve asked for information to back up claims they’ve made at the table, and they haven’t given us anything. At the end of the day, it seems they just want to see the employees give up their rights under the law. Again, we are fighting for dignity, fairness and respect. They want to erase your rights from the contract.
Wait, Are They Here?
How much time does it take to say no? Well, at the time of this writing, the Department has been out of the room and caucusing a full 29% of the time we’ve been bargaining. Now, it takes time to draft proposals and counter proposals, but the Department pitched a fit about how much “caucus time” should be allowed in their proposals for our ground rules. And let’s not forget, how much time does it take to say, “No”? Well, about a third of the day.
No Union Representatives
After being told repeatedly that it was an illegal proposal, the Department insists that they will only ever deal with one Union official ever, a “single point of contact.” Are you a Union Steward or a Local President? Not anymore. The Department doesn’t want to talk to you. They don’t want to hear from you anymore.
You are “Untrustworthy”
The Department said that if any employee has ever received a discipline, adverse action, or even a counseling, then that employee is “untrustworthy.” We asked questions and they were clear, it doesn’t matter what it was for or how long ago it was. In the eyes of the Department, you are “untrustworthy.” This is the No Dignity, No Fairness, and No Respect trifecta!
In the Interest of Fairness and Equity
When the Department came to negotiate, one of the very first proposals they gave us was to delete a commitment to “trust” and “mutual respect.” Well, they put that back in, but now they want to take out provisions requiring them to act “in the interest of fairness and equity.” They aren’t being shy about what they want to take away from you. They want to take away any promise of dignity, fairness and respect.
To learn more and see how you can get involved with our national campaign for Dignity, Fairness, and Respect, visit www.afge.org/VAContract.