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    Feb 17, 2021
    AFGE Local 548 Membership Meeting will be done by telephone conference due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Conference call line: 605-475-4718 Access code 961965
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    Mar 17, 2021
    AFGE Local 548 Membership Meeting will be done by telephone conference due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Conference call line: 605-475-4718 Access code 961965
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    Apr 21, 2021
    AFGE Local 548 Membership Meeting will be done by telephone conference due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Conference call line: 605-475-4718 Access code 961965
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    May 19, 2021
    AFGE Local 548 Membership Meeting will be done by telephone conference due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Conference call line: 605-475-4718 Access code 961965
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    Jun 16, 2021
    AFGE Local 548 Membership Meeting will be done by telephone conference due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Conference call line: 605-475-4718 Access code 961965
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  • National Grievance (Smoke-Free Policy): Arbitration Award
    Updated On: Nov 19, 2020

    Pursuant to a July 2008 Memorandum of Understanding negotiated by NVAC, the Agency is required to provide AFGE bargaining unit employees with “reasonably accessible designated smoking areas.”  This MOU has remained in full force and effect for more than a decade.  In early 2019, the Agency sought to renegotiate this MOU so that it could implement a “smoke-free” policy at health care facilities.  NVAC refused to renegotiate the MOU because we were not required to do so.  Likewise, the Agency failed to submit any proposals concerning the MOU during term bargaining.  Despite our refusal, the Agency implemented VHA Directive 1085.01 (Smoke-Free Policy for Employees at VA Health Care Facilities) on August 8, 2019 with an effective date of October 1, 2019.  In doing so, the Agency argued that the July 2008 MOU was no longer in effect and that NVAC waived its bargaining rights. 

    On August 16, 2019, NVAC filed a National Grievance against the Agency.  Yesterday, Arbitrator Mary Bass issued her arbitration award.  Arbitrator Bass sustained the grievance and found that the Agency repudiated our July 2008 MOU and violated the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute by unilaterally implementing VHA Directive 1085.01.  As NVAC requested, the Arbitrator ordered the Agency to do the following:

    1. rescind and cease and desist further implementation of the VHA Directive 1085.01 as applied to AFGE BUEs,
    2. take “any and all steps necessary” to fully comply with the July 2008 MOU, and
    3. for the Deputy Under Secretary for Health and Operations Management (DUSHOM) to sign and email a remedial notice posting to all AFGE BUEs in light of the Agency’s unfair labor practice.

    The Award is not yet final and binding.  A copy is attached for your reference.  


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