The VA and the AFGE union have agreed to start over on bargaining that began during the Trump administration and that proved especially contentious, resulting in numerous complaints that have now been dropped.
The settlement “outlines the parameters” for negotiations that will resume in the next four to six weeks for a contract for some 265,000 employees in the Veterans Health Administration, the union said.
The dispute largely arose from the prior administration’s 2018 executive orders designed to limit unions in numerous ways, some of which the VA implemented even though they were the subject of legal challenges. President Biden revoked those orders in one of his first actions while also broadening the union role beyond what it had been before they were issued.
Said AFGE, “We’re proud to have reached this historic settlement to reverse those anti-worker policies and reset the relationship between VA management and employees so that we can once again work together in good faith to make the VA a great place for employees to work and the recognized leader in veteran care.”
“This settlement agreement sets a new standard for what labor-management relations in the federal government should look like. Now is the time for other agencies to follow suit,” it added.