WASHINGTON – American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. today issued the following statement:
“While the U.S. Court of Appeals has issued its mandate lifting the U.S. District Court’s injunction in our lawsuit, the executive orders themselves clearly state that they do not abrogate existing collective bargaining agreements. The Department of Veterans Affairs notified us today of its intention to implement provisions of the previously enjoined executive orders following completion of its statutory bargaining obligations. Any attempts by agencies to enforce these provisions outside of the collective bargaining process will be met with immediate legal challenge by the union.
“The District Court determined that these executive orders are illegal, and the Appeals Court’s jurisdictional ruling does not change that. We remain concerned that the administration’s intent is not to improve service delivery to our nation’s veterans or taxpayers, but rather to remove unions from the worksite and make it harder for our members to report mismanagement or other abuses that affect veterans’ care. The best way to improve services to our veterans is to fill the nearly 50,000 vacant positions across the VA – not by taking away rights and protections for their caregivers.”