Arbitrator Orders Dayton VA Hospital to Reinstate Union Office Space, Official Time, Parking Spaces

Categories: VA, The Insider

Congratulations to AFGE Local 2209 and the AFGE General Counsel’s Office for a sweeping victory for our union and the federal workers we represent at the Dayton Veterans Affairs hospital!  

After Local 2209 filed two grievances against the Dayton VA for illegally taking away union office space, official time, and parking spaces early last year, an arbitrator recently ruled in our favor and granted all the relief we had requested.  

The arbitrator found that the agency violated several provisions of the master agreement between AFGE and the VA when it implemented the former president’s anti-worker executive order on official time and union office space. The arbitrator also found that the VA violated the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute and the EO itself. 

As a result, the arbitrator ordered the VA to: 

  • Reverse the VA policy and return to the status quo before the VA’s wrongful action 
  • Reinstate official time, union office space, equipment, and parking spaces in accordance with the contract 
  • Award the union the damages caused by the agency’s wrongful action, such as all lost official time, any rent paid, office equipment and office service (e.g., internet and phone lines) costs 
  • Post notices acknowledging that it committed an Unfair Labor Practice in violating the contract with AFGE 

 “Truly, the full extent of damages are yet to be determined between the parties, and if the parties cannot agree on damages, then the arbitrator will resolve that issue,” said AFGE Legal Rights Attorney Matthew Gunn, who won the case for the local.  

Gunn said these violations were wrongful at the outset, and Biden’s revocation of Trump’s anti-worker executive orders did not have an impact on the case. 

The agency has 30 days to appeal. 

The Dayton VA has about 2,500 employees. Local 2209 President Michael Boone said this victory will help the local and employees in many ways.   

“Paying for space and equipment depleted our funds monthly,” he said. “Official time is key more than anything since the union is already outnumbered by management and they have more resources. We need official time because it allows us to provide all employees the valuable attention they deserve.”  

“This is an important decision for our union since it shows that agencies cannot illegally impose anti-worker rules in violation of the law, our union contracts, or, in this case, the text of the executive order itself,” said AFGE President Everett Kelley. “It also shows the value of our union and why we come together: to protect our rights and demand fair treatment in the workplace.”  

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