Executive Order (EO) 13836, Developing Efficient, Effective, and Cost-Reducing Approaches to Federal Sector Collective Bargaining, signed by the President on May 25, 2018, requires agencies to submit any long-term collective agreement (CBA) and its expiry date within 30 days of the CBA`s entry into force. EO 13836 also requires OPM to make these CBAs available to the public on the internet. This promotes transparency by allowing the public to consult the types of agreements between federal agencies and industry unions. Agencies are also required to submit arbitration awards to OPM within 10 business days of receipt. OPM has issued a memorandum on the publication of the CBA database, which contains guidelines on agency requirements for CBAs and arbitration awards. 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: 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: 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: Normally, one of the questions is how long the agreement will be in place.
Is that something you don`t agree with? 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. This really reduces the time that the union can look for evidence to help and actually give the answer to that employee. To meet with the employee, gather evidence and formulate a response. It`s really too insensible.