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VA and 11,000 Nurses Reach Impasse as Secretary Rejects Negotiated Contract Proposal

October 31, 2018 / Eric Katz

A group of 11,000 nurses at the Veterans Affairs Department has reached an impasse with the agency over its collective bargaining agreement, as the Trump administration has declined to sign off on a contract proposal structured by a third-party arbitrator and the department’s own negotiators. VA Secretary Robert Wilkie disapproved of the agreement with the National Nurses Union. An arbitrator designated by the Federal Service Impasses Panel proposed the contract after VA and the union negotiated for more than two years. Most of the provisions of that proposal stemmed directly from those negotiations, while the arbitrator plugged in the gaps on the remaining areas of disagreements.