AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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AFT Resolutions

EXTEND BASIC COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS TO VETERANS ADMINISTRATION NURSES AND OTHER TITLE 38 PROFESSIONALS

WHEREAS, professional employees of the Veterans Administration under Title 38, including registered nurses, physicians, dentists, podiatrists…who are affected by Section 7422 under Title 38 are unable to bargain on or grieve actions "arising out of (1) professional conduct or competence, (2) peer review, or (3) the establishment, determination or adjustment of compensation"; and

WHEREAS, the actions of the VA to use "Section 7422" exclusion to stop employees from grieving violations of pay or scheduling laws is unjust; and

WHEREAS, with the use of "Section 7422" exclusions, the VA stops employees from asserting their rights under equal employment, workers' compensation and federal labor law; and

WHEREAS, registered nurses, physicians and other professional employees of the VA are unable to grieve excess overtime, floating assignments or heavy case loads that hamper abilities to provide safe patient care; and

WHEREAS, other VA employees (psychologists, pharmacists, licensed practical nurses) have full bargaining rights to improve the direct patient care environment, but registered nurses and physicians do not have these rights; and

WHEREAS, Congress has the ability to extend collective bargaining rights to VA nurses and other professionals covered under Title 38; and

WHEREAS, our VA registered nurses (whose role includes patient advocate) and other professionals covered under Title 38 have the right to organize, they should as well have the right to fully collectively bargain once organized and grieve decisions of assignment, staffing and scheduling that place patients and/or patient populations in harm's way; and

WHEREAS, Sen. Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) has introduced S.B. 362 and Rep. Filner (D-Calif.) has introduced H.R. 949, extending bargaining rights to all employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) fully support S.B. 362 and H.R. 949 to extend bargaining rights to all employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT work diligently to ensure extension of collective bargaining rights and grievability of actions "arising out of (1) professional conduct or competence, (2) peer review, or (3) the establishment, determination or adjustment of compensation" to registered nurses and other professional employees affected under Title 38; and

RESOLVED, that the AFT educate its members in all its constituencies on the importance of collective bargaining rights for all VA workers.


(2010)