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. 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. NVAC submitted an application to the Federal Labor Relations Authority, the parent authority of the FSIP, to stay the decision until the pending appeals concerning several articles of the agreement and the constitutionality of the appointment of FSIP members are clarified. The body removed several articles from the agreement and removed others, said Ibidun Roberts, who represents NVAC. 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? 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.