Ibidun Roberts: Yes, we are negotiating to come back, we do not think that the expulsion of the union by the VA was legal. Even under the executive, it was not legal. The executive itself therefore says not to provide free or enhanced space for unions if it is not generally available to non-federal organizations, and here at the VA, that is the case. VA allows non-federal organizations to use free space. We have several examples of them in our rebuttal, such as the organization of the go nurses and the direction of the VA, they all got free space. So there would have been no change in our space, even under executive orders. And we really felt the consequences if we are removed from the institutions, the workers do not have access to the union. And now, during the pandemic, it`s even worse, employees have been looking for unions to find their rights, how they can file complaints with OSHA, to find out what`s free for them, because we just passed laws, like FFCRA, that employees didn`t know what they were doing, and the union wasn`t there to talk to them. Then the VA became even more extreme than the executive and prevented the union from using even VA emails. This in turn limits how employees can contact the union if we can`t even use government email to reach employees. We do not think it is legal, and in the treaty we try to get it back.
Tom Temin: And the executive orders of the Trump administration cover a lot of territories, and what can we reasonably expect from an answer, would you want to see in an agreement in terms of official time and all the other provisions? 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: 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`re just waiting for a decision from them. Ibidun Roberts: So what we`re looking for in the treaty is really the procedures, right? You can`t negotiate the law itself.
Congress has deemed this law appropriate, so we can only carry out the procedure. For example, the law reduced the time it takes employees to take action to 15 days. Therefore, as soon as the VA submits a deportation proposal to a staff member, it has seven days to respond to this proposal. And then, within a fortnight, eight days after its response, the VA must make a decision.