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? In July, the EPO and AFGE agreed on a new contract. Both the Agency and the union have called the new collective agreement a victory in their own way. 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: 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. No representative of the EPO union may devote 100% of their working time to the official time, in accordance with the agreement. The official use of time throughout the bargaining unit is limited to 7,400 hours per year – one hour per unit member. According to the opM`s latest report on the subject, EPO union representatives spent more than 58,274 hours in 2016 for the official time. 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? “Regardless of telework programs or alternative work schedules, employees are expected to physically register at work and official service at least three days a week,” the new collective agreement states. “Maxi-flex planned days off, compressed days off and regular telework days count for this requirement as a day outside the official site. Every leave, every day of paid leave (for example. B annual leave, sickness, credit hours, etc.) or official travel is not considered a day aaway from the official site for the purpose of this requirement.

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.