Picture shows a syringe and a vaccine being held in a gloved hand with text reading,

The “VA Notice to AFGE BUEs” that was distributed by VA on Monday afternoon was sent in connection with a settlement agreement with AFGE. This settlement agreement resolved an unfair labor practice charge filed in January 2021 over the VA’s refusal to bargain its voluntary COVID-19 vaccination program, specifically the use of administrative leave to VA employees who experienced an adverse reaction to the vaccine and were unable to work. This case did not cover any vaccination required by the subsequent, mandatory COVID-19 vaccination program.

The Settlement Agreement establishes an electronic Claim Submission Procedure that permits AFGE BUEs who are current VA employees to submit a claim for VA to provide a one-time, lump sum payment for up to sixteen (16) hours of pay if you meet the following criteria:

  1. AFGE BUE received a dose of the COVID-19 vaccination, including booster shots, between December 11, 2020, to July 27, 2021.
  2. AFGE BUE experienced an adverse reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine.
  3. AFGE BUE was incapacitated to work for the two (2) consecutive workdays immediately following the date of vaccination.
  4. AFGE BUE took personal leave as a result of incapacitation to work (must submit VATAS leave record).

Using the instructions contained in the VA Notice to AFGE BUEs, all eligible AFGE BUEs who wish to participate must submit a claim through the electronic portal. All eligible AFGE BUEs must submit a complete claim for compensation, including their VATAS leave record, within 60 days of the notice from VA. In lieu of leave restoration, approved claims will be paid at the AFGE BUE’s current rate of pay.

For instructions on how to access VATAS records from this time period, please see the attached VATAS INSTRUCTIONS FROM VA:


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