Can a federal Title 38 RN at a VA hospital, be made to work a 9-hour shift in violation of the union agreement?

In order to solve timekeeping issues, night shift nursing staff have been assigned a 9 hour shift on the first Sunday of each pay period. Time from 2330 to 2400 on Sat night is designated as “comp time earned” to avoid paying overtime, and the “real shift” is 2400 – 0830. We are told that we may simply request to use comp time to leave at 0800 when other shifts end the rest of the pay period.There is no guarantee that we will be granted permission to use CT,and if other staff are on OT the rules prohibit granting CT used to anyone.So we have to work 30 mins of mandatory comp time.We want OT.

Asked on June 12, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

This sounds like something your whole union local should be fighting, if it's really a violation of the CBA.  And if the union isn't ready to do it, I'm sure the CBA has a grievance procedure you can follow, and force formal consideration of the issue.

And if you're not satisfied with the union representative's backup through the first stages of the grievance, have a labor lawyer in your area review all of the facts, for reliable advice on what to do next.  One place to find qualified counsel is our website,

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