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NFFE Local 1 Settles Six-Figure Back Pay Case for San Francisco VA Nurses

Thursday, September 25, 2008
 

San Francisco, CA – Early this week, thirty-nine nurses at the San Francisco VA Medical Center received payments of up to $10,000 for underpayments made to them between 2000 and 2006.  This outcome was the result of a settlement reached between the VA and the union representing the nurses, National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 1.  VA management and the union bargained over the settlement for 20 months since the original grievance was filed.

The payroll errors occurred when nurses working some weekend shifts were not given the proper premium pay rate for the hours they worked.  Nurses at the VA earn an additional 25% on top of their normal rate for weekend shifts.  The weekend begins at midnight Friday and ends at midnight Sunday.  Nurses are entitled to the premium rate for all the hours they work when any part of a shift is served during the weekend hours.  A nurse beginning a shift at 8 PM Friday night and ending at 8 AM Saturday morning is entitled to 12 hours of premium pay.  The San Francisco VA, during these years, was only paying the nurses the premium rate for the hours of the shift that occurred between midnight Friday and midnight Sunday.  Nurses got the standard rate for hours worked late Friday evening and early Monday morning as part of a weekend shift.  For nurses that worked these shifts frequently, these underpayments added up considerably.

“We are so happy to reach this settlement for our nurses,” said Patricia La Sala, President of NFFE Local 1.  “They earned this money.  It is only fair that they get paid for it.”

Great labor management relations is nothing new at this facility.  In 2007, the San Francisco VA and NFFE Local 1 received the Department of Veteran Affairs Award for Labor Management Relations.  This settlement is the byproduct of years of respectful and productive labor-management relations.

“This is a great example of labor-management relations working at its best,” said La Sala.  “This is going to be great for the morale of the workers at the San Francisco VA.

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Established in 1917, the National Federation of Federal Employees is the oldest union representing civil service federal employees.  NFFE currently represents 100,000 federal employees government-wide.  NFFE is affiliated with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

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