The American Federation of Government Employees on Wednesday filed an internal grievance with the Veterans Affairs Department alleging “numerous unfair labor practices” related to the department’s implementation of a series of controversial workforce executive orders.
In a filing sent to Kimberly McLeod, executive director in the VA Office of Labor-Management Relations, AFGE’s National Veterans Affairs Council, which represents VA employees, accused leadership of illegally and unilaterally implementing elements of President Trump’s executive order reducing the availability of official time. That order and two others are the subjects of a legal challenge in federal district court.
In July, officials at the VA gave the union notice that the department intended to implement provisions of the official time executive order unilaterally, offering AFGE the chance to bargain on changes to its collective bargaining agreement after implementation. The union said it has submitted counter-proposals through the post-implementation bargaining process “under protest.”
In the grievance, AFGE argued that management’s actions to limit the use of official time to 25 percent of an employee’s work hours, as well as to move to evict the union from agency office space, violate both an existing collective bargaining agreement, as well as the official time executive order itself.
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