Tom Temin: Give us an idea of the situation in which the whole treaty is in terms of the timing and expiration of the existing treaty. Ibidun Roberts: That`s right. It is the master contract, the locals get certain arrangements to negotiate on the ground. But it is for the general concepts on which we agree at the national level. Tom Temin: Okay, and before I go into some of those details, I mentioned about a quarter of a million, I think there are 270,000 employees on the National Council goes to AFGE. Is there an agreement for everyone in the Council? Ibidun Roberts: Oh yes. The VA is therefore seeking a ten-year contract. We are looking for the traditional three-year contract. There are many reasons for this.
One of them is that other unions can challenge our certification after three years, but changes are happening as well. And if these changes happen, we want to be able to open the agreements and accept those changes. And this is especially true for the VA, which has had a number of changes. For example, the Accountability Act is an important change that we want to include in the agreement. Another is President Trump`s executive orders, if we had a 10-year agreement, we would not be able to get changes, like the ones I just mentioned. A shorter term is better than a 10-year term. Ibidun Roberts: Well, the current agreement is what we call rushed, once the VA has opened it, our language in the Treaty says that the provisions will continue until we reach a new agreement. So that`s where we`re with the current agreement, it`s continuing until we get to a new one. So we negotiated with the VA for half a month, and the VA requested the services of the Federal Service Impasses Panel, which is the authority of the federal government to break the deadlock. Like us government employees, we cannot go on strike, someone has to break the deadlock, and that is what this agency is doing. VA asked for your help.
They asked us to defend our proposals in an opinion that had to be issued on June 3. Then we had the opportunity to refute the other`s arguments, and it was just July 5. For now, the council is arguing. — we are only waiting for a decision from them. Tom Temin: And the executive orders of the Trump administration cover a large number of territories, and what can we reasonably expect from an answer, would you like to see in an agreement in terms of official time and all the other provisions? Tom Temin: Normally, one of the questions is how long the agreement will be in place.