On September 29, 2017, NVAC filed a National Grievance against the VA concerning its failure to provide performance improvement plans (“PIP”) consistent with Article 27, Section 10 of the 2011 Master Agreement to AFGE bargaining unit employees prior to taking a performance-based adverse action under the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, 38 U.S.C. §714 (“Section 714”).
On August 23, 2018, Arbitrator Jerome H. Ross issued an award sustaining the National Grievance, finding that VA violated the 2011 Master Agreement by failing to provide PIPs to AFGE BUEs prior to taking performance-based adverse actions under Section 714.
Arbitrator Ross ordered VA to (1) resume compliance with the 2011 Master Agreement, (2) rescind any adverse action taken against AFGE BUEs for unacceptable performance who did not first receive a PIP in compliance with the 2011 Master Agreement, and (3) reinstate and/or make whole any such AFGE BUEs consistent with the Back Pay Act.
In September 2018, VA filed exceptions to the Ross Award with the Federal Labor Relations Authority, but VA’s exceptions and motion for reconsideration were both denied by the FLRA.
On November 16, 2020, the Ross Award became final and binding, but VA did not initiate compliance.
On May 17, 2021, the Union filed an unfair labor practice charge with the FLRA to enforce the Ross Award. VA later took steps to implement the Ross Award by contacting AFGE BUEs directly and offering reinstatement and/or make whole relief.
On July 5, 2022, with the assistance of the FLRA Collaboration and Dispute Resolution Office, the Parties executed a Settlement Agreement to resolve disputes concerning VA’s compliance with the Ross Award.
Overview of Settlement Agreement
As the Ross Award required, the Settlement Agreement ensures that VA will provide make-whole relief and reinstatement, if applicable, to AFGE BUEs who were wrongfully disciplined under Section 714 without first receiving a PIP between Jun 23, 2017 and July 5, 2022. The Settlement Agreement also provides relief to certain AFGE BUEs who resigned, retired, or executed a last chance agreement in lieu of receiving performance-based discipline under Section 714 between November 16, 2020 and July 5, 2022, as well as those who received performance-based discipline under Section 714 and later executed an individual settlement agreement between November 16, 2020 and July 5, 2022.
The Settlement Agreement outlines which employees are eligible for relief, the type of relief they can receive, how VA will notify and provide relief to eligible employees, and how the national Parties will resolve disputes going forward. Please review the Settlement Agreement carefully for more information.
If you are identified as an Eligible AFGE BUE under the Settlement Agreement, the VA will be providing an Employee Notification to you by mail with important information on what you must do to receive the relief you are entitled to under the Settlement Agreement. VA will begin sending the Employee Notifications in mid-July.
You must respond to the Employee Notification within 150 days to relief under the Settlement Agreement. Otherwise, you will waive your rights to relief.