Ibidun Roberts: Oh, yes, it`s possible. The parties can always agree on their own, we can always go back and renegotiate. We just need to agree. The Union cannot insist. Management, the agency should agree with us. As long as that happens, we can renegotiate. So President Biden votes, as soon as he sits down, he can give that order. And we would be happy to go to the table and negotiate fairly. The Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP), made up of 10 presidents appointed to resolve deadlocks in agency union negotiations, significantly changed the agreement in its November 5 ruling, allegedly to bring the labor contract into compliance with several executive orders of the Trump administration, which brings in federal staff. After nearly a year of negotiations and disagreements, the Federal Service Impasses Panel has made a much-anticipated decision in the ongoing wage dispute between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the American Federation of Government Employees. „The Federal Service Impasses Panel is a great asset to veterans and taxpayers who will improve VA activity in some significant way,“ Christina Noel, a spokeswoman for the department, said in a statement to the Federal News Network. Tom Temin: This one is going to take longer than the recount of votes.
Which brings me to my next question, which is that the union is simply hoping that if the Obama administration is finally, I can`t believe that if the Biden administration is finally sitting down, that its VA designs could just come in and say, are we going to throw it all out and start with new negotiations? Is this legally possible and is that what the union is hoping for? Tom Temin: And what are the elements of an agreement that you think is most significant, that were removed or that are no longer in it after the panel`s decision? Before the panel entered into the meat of the more than 40 articles of the treaty at issue, the panel rebuked an over-reliance on presumed legal rights as the basis for the removal of entire parts of the agreement. AFGE filed 20 complaints with the Federal Labour Relations Agency challenging the department`s assertion that such matters are non-negotiable. Nine outstanding contract articles are currently in dispute after the VA secretary withdrew them from collective bargaining in 2019. The treaty can only be ratified by members once the status of these articles has been clarified, Roberts said. Collective bargaining between the Department of Veterans Affairs and the American Federation of Government Employees has stalled for more than a year, and the COVID-19 pandemic, which has closed parts of the country and increased workload and risk to health care professionals, has only exacerbated differences between management and unions over the best administration of the confederation. The Agency`s proposals deal with clauses that would allow executives to make unilateral discretion to make changes to the telework policy and would require the union to pay all arbitration costs, while deterring AFGE from choosing its own negotiators, according to AFGE`s submission.