PAD530 Assignment 4
PAD530 Assignment 4
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Date Created: 11/06/15
V.A. POLICIES REGARDING UNIONS, PRIVATIZATION, PENSIONS, AND… 1 V.A. POLICIES REGARDING UNIONS, PRIVATIZATION, PENSIONS, AND. Week 9 Assignment #4 Joseph Brown Dr. Udoh E. Udom PAD530 March 10, 2013 V.A. POLICIES REGARDING UNIONS, PRIVATIZATION, PENSIONS, AND… 2 THE VETERANS AFFAIRS AND THE UNIONS To better identify problems and craft solutions, promote productivity and to have the best service delivered to our nation’s veterans; the Veterans Affairs and the Union have to agree that such quality of service can only be achieves by constructive and cooperative working relationship between both parties. Furthermore, such working relationship should be constructed on a solid foundation of trust, common grounds, and with a shared responsibility for departmental success. According to the Master Agreement Handbook between the Veterans Affairs and the American Federation of Government Employees, the three policies and procedures of the Veterans Affairs regarding the Union are: “Details and Temporary Promotions, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Discipline and Adverse Action”(VA & AFGE 2011 P.10). Details and Temporary Promotions: The purpose of this policy is to explain rights and responsibilities related to management’s right to effect details and temporary promotions. “The world “detail” refers to temporary assignment of an employee to a different position for a specified period of time; with the employee returning to their regular duties at the end of the detail” (VA & AFGE 2011 P.41). Nevertheless, before such temporary assignment or promotion can go into effect, management would have to give both the Union (AFGE) and the employee a two weeks’ notice prior to the effective date of the temporary assignment or promotion. Both management and the employee have responsibilities in ensuring that all temporary assignments and promotions go accordingly. Management responsibilities are as follows: Managers must document all temporary assignments and promotions longer than one week in Office of Personnel File; Analyze temporary assignments and promotions outside duty station and allow V.A. POLICIES REGARDING UNIONS, PRIVATIZATION, PENSIONS, AND… 3 duty time for travel as needed. Employees on the other hand should document their temporary assignments and their promotions of less than one week in electronic Office of Personnel File. Alternative Dispute Resolution: Both the Veterans Affairs and the Union recognizes the importance of resolving disagreements and disputes swiftly, fairly, and in an orderly manner that will maintain the selfrespect of the employee and be consistent with the principles of good management. Therefore, “the Veterans Affairs assure the Union that every effort, attempts will be made to resolve grievance expeditiously and at the lowest level of supervision” (VA & AFGE 2011 P. 38). With this been said, both the Union and the Veterans Affairs encourage the development of Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) as a cost effective and timely method of solving grievances. Discipline and Adverse Action: The purpose of this policy is to assure public interests that both the Veterans Affairs and the Union recognizes maintaining a high standard of conduct is a must for operation succession. Furthermore, the Veterans Affairs assures the Union that “no bargaining unit employees shall be subject to disciplinary action except for just and sufficient cause” (VA & AFGE 2011 P. 52). And if any disciplinary action should be taken by the Veterans Affairs toward an employee, such disciplinary action should lead to the promotion of efficiency in VA service. According to the Veterans Affairs Master Agreement Handbook between the Department and the Union, actions based upon substantively unacceptable performance should be taken in accordance with Title 5, Chapter 43 and will be covered in Article 27 Performance Appraisal System. The Veterans Affairs must implement disciplinary actions so that it may be consistent with applicable laws, regulations, policy, and accepted practice within the workplace. In short, V.A. POLICIES REGARDING UNIONS, PRIVATIZATION, PENSIONS, AND… 4 disciplining an employee should be applied fairly and equitably and should not be used to harass the employee. The Veterans Affairs and Privatization Policies With the Department of Veterans Affairs being the second large employer of the executive branch in the United States government, privatization is a must. The phrase “Veterans Affairs” refers to America’s largest integrated veteran’s benefits system. According to the Veterans Affairs webpage, “the VA is the largest integrated health care system with over 1,700 sites of care, serving 8.3 Veterans each year”(Providing Health Care. 2013). The Veterans Affairs privatizes some of it tasks to lower the burden that comes with meeting the veterans’ medical, financial, and education needs. According to the United States Office of Personnel Management “Reshaping Operations” Handbook, “whenever Management of any Federal government agencies decides to contract out the work of bargaining unit positions and bargaining unit employees where they might be affected, the Veterans Affairs will make maximum effort to find available positions for such employees”(OPM 2009 P. 57). For the purpose of this assignment, maximum effort is refers to as; giving priority consideration for available positions within the Veterans Affair; establishing an employment priority list and a placement program; and, paying reasonable costs for training and relocation that contribute to placement. Furthermore, not getting the Union; management would have to advise the Union at the local level of such decision as soon as possible in order to provide the local union the opportunity to request negotiations over the impact and implementation of such privatization. The Veterans Affairs policy on privatization also demands Federal Contractors to ensure the agency that V.A. POLICIES REGARDING UNIONS, PRIVATIZATION, PENSIONS, AND… 5 employees who will be affected due to privatization will be given the first opportunity in filling out employment openings created by the contractors. However, with exception, this would applies only to job openings for which such affected employees are qualified and does not apply when such employees would otherwise be prohibited from such employment by the Government Post Employment Conflict of Interest Standards. The Veterans Affairs Pension Plans The Department of Veterans Affairs offers three pension and one disability income benefits for Employees, and veterans who served on active duty. Although the Veterans Affairs offers these plans; it’s the federal government’s tax collection agency, the Internal Revenue Service that sets most of the rules governing these plans, and the Department of Labor regulates it to prevent abuses. The following are the names of the pension and disability income benefits that the Veterans Affairs offers: Federal Employees Retirement System; Thrift Saving Plan; Aid and Attendance Pension; and, Disability Compensation Benefits. The Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and the Thrift Saving Plan (TSP): Each of these pension plans are provided to Veterans Affairs employees who meet certain requirements. According to the FERS information displayed on OPM.gov website, it explained that for a Veterans Affairs employee that has 20 or more years of federal service or retires at age 62 or older, his or her basic FERS benefit will equal 1.1 percent of his or her highest three years of average earnings, multiplied by his or her years of service. Unlike the FERS, the Thrift Savings Plan functions differently. With the TSP, the Veterans Affairs contribute 1 percent of their employees ‘wages to the TSP regardless of whether individuals participate or not. “In addition, the Veterans Affairs matches their employees ‘contributions at $1.00 per $1.00 for the first three V.A. POLICIES REGARDING UNIONS, PRIVATIZATION, PENSIONS, AND… 6 percent of earnings contributed and $.50 per $1.00 for the next two percent of earnings”(TSP 2012. P47). The Aid and Attendance Pension (AAP): The purpose of the AAP benefit is to provide supplemental income to disabled or older veterans who have a low income. Furthermore, it’s more geared toward war veterans who have disabilities that are not service connected to their activeduty service. The Veterans Affairs policy on such pension clearly states “If the veteran’s income exceeds the Pension amount, then there is no award. However, income can be adjusted for future and recurring unreimbursed medical expenses, and this allows veterans with household incomes larger than the Pension amount to qualify for a monthly benefit”(VeteransAid 2013 P1). And the last is, the Disability Compensation Pension Benefits (DCPB): The Veterans Affairs DCPB plan provides awards to veterans a certain amount of monthly Income in compensating for potential loss of income due to a disabilities or injuries that the veterans incurred while serving in the Armed Forces. The Veterans Affairs policy on such pension clearly states “In order to receive Compensation, a veteran has to have evidence of a serviceconnected disability” (VA Website 2013). Most veterans who are receiving this benefit were awarded an amount based on a percentage of disability shortly after they left the service. There is generally no income requirement for compensation, and such benefit is nontaxable. The Veterans Affairs Productivity and Performance Evaluation The Veterans Affairs approach to productivity and performance evaluation is quite similar to that of most federal agencies productivity and performance evaluations; where it measures the contribution of employees throughout the Veterans Affairs to overall organizational goals. Furthermore, “such evaluations are consistent with the High Performance Development model, V.A. POLICIES REGARDING UNIONS, PRIVATIZATION, PENSIONS, AND… 7 and for succession planning purposes, integrated with and similar to the performance appraisal system to that of employees in the Senior Executive Service” (VA Website 2013). General Schedule employees, including employees covered by the Performance Management and Recognition System Termination Act of 1993 are strongly encourage to perform due diligences in keeping with organizational goals. “Underlying this notion is recognition that governance involves means for achieving direction, control, and coordination of individuals or organizational units on behalf of their common interest” (Wamsley 1990). Because the Veterans Affairs productivity and performance evaluations are meant to identify employees’ developmental needs, there have to be rating measures in place. According to the Veterans Affairs Performance and Evaluation website, the following at the rating measures for productivity and performance evaluations: Fully Successful or Higher, Less Than Fully Successful Rating and, Unsatisfactory Rating. Fully Successful or Higher: Translating from the VA website, at the Veterans Affairs, when employees are rated fully successful or higher, they are granted performance awards; bonus pools for granting awards may be established and funds may be set aside prior to the general distribution of budgeted funds. Employees at the Veterans Affairs are also given the options to choose between cash award and timeoff award. If the timeoff award is chosen, employees are given time off from duties, without loss or pays or charge to leave earnings. Less Than Fully Successful Rating: Employees who are rated less than fully successful during their rating will be assisted in improving their performance. The Veterans Affairs managers will assist but is not limited to formal training, onthejob training, counseling and closer supervision. V.A. POLICIES REGARDING UNIONS, PRIVATIZATION, PENSIONS, AND… 8 Unsatisfactory Rating: The Veterans Affairs policy on “unsatisfactory” rating mandate that such employee be reassigned, changed to a lower grade, or removed from Federal service. Throughout the Federal government, “unsatisfactory” rating is the lowest possible rating an employee can get during his or her performance appraisal. Whenever such rating is given to an employee, it indicates that he or she can or will not do assigned tasks and makes him or her ineligible for any type of performance recognition, such as a raise or paid time off. Veterans Affairs policy on productivity and performance evaluations allows employees to freely appeal any rating they feel is unfair or inaccurate. The V.A. Recommendations for Improving Productivity and Performance Evaluation The three actions that the Veterans Affairs could take to improve performance evaluation and productivity are: Integrating to a more cuttingedge performance and evaluation and productivity software; Employees’ Goals Setting; and, Assigning Supervisor as an Advisor. Integrating to a more cuttingedge performance and evaluation and productivity software: An organized and properly control database throughout the Veterans Affairs are essential in keeping a close monitor over services of employees effectiveness and overall performance of them. Furthermore, with the new software in place, Veterans Affairs managers can now traces efficiency, problem resolving capabilities and quality of work without waiting for a given performance evaluation schedule. Employees’ Goals Setting: As in any other working environment, it’s best that the Veterans Affairs encourage employees to set goals for themselves for the periods between performance appraisals. When supervisors allowed employees to set their own goals, they incorporate their opinions of themselves and their jobs into the appraisal. V.A. POLICIES REGARDING UNIONS, PRIVATIZATION, PENSIONS, AND… 9 Assigning Supervisor as an Advisor: In order to achieve organizational gorals, both managers and supervisors have to work along with the employees in making sure that set goals and other performance standards are met. In short, direct supervisors compose and present performance appraisals, while upper levels managers review the information and respond if necessary. References OPM. (2009). United States Office of Personnel Management Handbook: Reshaping Operations. Retrieved on March 5 2013. From: http://www.opm.gov/policydataoversight/workforce restructuring/workforce_reshaping.pdf TSP. (2012). Summary of Thrift Saving Plan. Retrieved on Marth 6, 2013: From: https://www.tsp.gov/PDF/formspubs/tspbk08.pdf V.A. (2013). Providing Health Care: Retrieved from: http://www.va.gov/health/default.asp VA & AFGE. (2011). Master Agreement Handbook between the Veterans Affairs and the American Federation of Government Employees: Retrieved on March 5, 2013. From: http://www.va.go/docs/Agreements/AFGE/Master_Agreement_between_DVA_and_AFGE fin_March_2011.pdf VA Website. (2013). Disability Compensation Claims: Retrieved on March 7, 2013: From: http://www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/#slide2 VA Website. (2013). Memorandum of Understanding: Retrieved on March 7, 2013: From: http: http://www.va.gov/LMR/docs/MOU_AFGE_VHA_High_Performance_Development _Model_113_9_5_2002.pdf VeteransAid. (2013). Aid and Attendance Pension: Retrieved on March 7, 2013: From: http://www.veteranaid.org/program.php Wamsley, Gary L. 1990. Introduction: In Refounding Public Administration, Reviewed on March 8, 2013: From: ed. G. L. Wamsley and J. F. Wolf. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.
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