The Department of Veterans Affairs has begun implementing the administration's executive order purging unions and gutting your rights to fight injustice in the workplace.
In a memo sent to our union on July 17, the VA detailed how it plans to take away your due process and workplace protections. By targeting official time – the hours union volunteers use to fight discrimination, retaliation, health and safety violations, and other injustices in the workplace – the VA is wiping out due process you are entitled to under the law. According to the memo:
- Union volunteers can no longer use official time to prepare or pursue grievances brought against the VA, including arbitration cases with third-party administrative judges.
- The VA drastically cut official time to no more than 25% so union volunteers do not have enough time to pursue justice or resolve issues with management.
- The VA is heavily restricting when and how union volunteers can use official time to represent you, making it harder for you to pursue justice and prevail.
- The VA is unilaterally terminating any provisions in the labor-management contract that it considers to be inconsistent with the executive order.
These measures are a direct assault on our apolitical civil service system and are nothing but thinly veiled attempts at busting unions and rolling back workplace rights across the country.
That’s why we’re taking them to court
Our union has filed lawsuits against the administration challenging these illegal EOs. Our attorneys will be making oral arguments on July 25 at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia where we’re hosting a massive rally protesting the EOs. We’re asking everyone to join us in D.C. and wear red on this #RedforFeds Day to show solidarity and protest these illegal executive orders.
If you cannot make it to D.C. on July 25, we’re asking you to host an event back home. But wherever you are, please wear red or a red item to show solidarity with your union brothers and sisters.
For more resources and to see which cities are hosting events and participating in #RedforFeds, visit www.afge.org/redforfeds and follow the #RedforFeds hashtag on Twitter.
“If we’re going to win the fight the administration started, we need to spend some of the money we’ve been saving for a rainy day,” said AFGE National VA Council President Alma Lee. “The rainy day has come. The hurricane has come…Start spending money on this fight!”