Taking their drive to protect their patients’ health and their workers’ rights beyond the confines of their own agency’s appeals process, National Nurses United’s registered nurses are suing the Department of Veterans Affairs. In their complaint, filed Nov. 16 with U.S. District Court in D.C., the union, which represents 11,000 VA RNS, said Trump’s new VA Secretary, Robert Wilkie, and his boss are engaged in “a deliberate campaign to eviscerate collective bargaining rights of the VA nurses and other health care workers.” On Oct. 19, Wilkie rejected a contract with NNU his own agency’s bargainers reached, thus breaking labor laws covering federal workers. The nurses had already ratified the pact. He also violated the RNs’ constitutional rights by implementing parts of three Trump anti-federal-worker executive orders a U.S. District Court judge in D.C. previously overturned as violating workers’ 1st Amendment rights to freedom of speech and association.
DC LABORFest 2021