It has been a busy summer, we’re all ready for some peace and quiet

The summer of 2018 started off with a bang, that was more like a:

red lava and smoke of volcano
Photo by Pete Johnson on

At 5:15pm on the Friday before Memorial Day, the President of the United States signed three Executive Orders that gutted AFGE’s ability to represent our members and removed several employee protections including – the right to be treated the same as other employees and progressive discipline. The battle was partially won on August 25 (just under 3 months later) AFGE and scores of other unions (who had sued the president and OPM) were rewarded with agreement by the judge in our case. She restored our ability to use official time to represent employees, our ability to write and file grievances on official time, and our ability to maintain offices and use of equipment on the worksite at no additional fee. AFGE continues to battle for restoration of the remaining rights.

Of course, you already know, the executive board geared up for June elections and ultimately, won by acclamation because no one ran against us. Your officers are:

President: John Copeland

EVP: Dawn Riggs

Title 38 VP: Eric Gerken

Title 5 VP: Marcelina Trawick

Treasurer: Christina McCoy

Secretary: Kelsey Allen

Chief Steward: Barry Peterson

August 13-17, members of the executive board plus two additional delegates (Carmelo Negron and Roger Sands) went to the AFGE Triennial National convention in Las Vegas. National officers were elected and the locals were successful in not incurring any additional fees from national (called per capita fees). Below are some photos from the convention:



We moved back into our union jobs on Tuesday, August 28 and were soon up to our elbows in alligators, but thrilled to be back to doing what we love.

September 3rd was Labor Day and AFGE Local 2152 proudly participated in the annual Virginia City Labor Day parade. Below are some of our photos from the event:



And now we are settling in for the fall and the continued fight to protect our VA, our employees’ rights, and our union. Given all of the attacks on VA and her employees this year (not to mention the unions), our motto until November 7 is:



AFGE Local 2152 Election Materials and RESULTS- 2018

It is an exciting time. AFGE Local 2152 is holding its triennial elections for officers/executive board. Here are some of the resources that you may find helpful in navigating this process.

2015 AFGE Constitution

Local 2152 Constitution

Nomination Election Notice 2018-04-18

Election manual AFGE – 2016 version

So, we held the nomination meeting and only the current officers plus one showed up. Therefore, the current executive board won by acclamation. Your officers are as follows:

President: John Copeland

EVP: Dawn Riggs

Title 38 VP: Eric Gerken

Treasurer: Christina McCoy

Secretary: Kelsey Allen

And then with the Executive Board’s support, our president appointed the following:

Title 5 VP: Marcelina Trawick

Chief Steward: Barry Peterson

Where we have been…

2017: John Copeland (AFGE L2152 President) and Lisa Howard (VA SNHCS Director) develop first local supplement to VA AFGE Master Agreement

Through partnership, John Copeland and Lisa Howard were able to agree on a local supplement to the VA AFGE Master Agreement. This signed document serves to locally define sections of the Master Agreement and marks the first time management and AFGE local 2152 have been able to agree to a supplemental.

John Copeland (AFGE L2152 President) spoke up at the National Convention in Orlando, FL (August 2015) to prevent an increase in your dues


2014: In a first for our local, AFGE local 2152 President John Copeland and new VA SNHCS Director Lisa Howard sign partnership agreement

After several years of hostility between the past director of VA SNHCS and AFGE L2152, Lisa Howard was named first acting and then permanent Director, VA SNHCS. Soon after taking the position, John Copeland (AFGE L2152 President) began working with her to develop and sign a labor-management partnership agreement. This is the first and only partnership agreement ever developed and signed between VA SNHCS and AFGE Local 2152.

11/16/11 AFGE General Union Meeting

AFGE Local 2152 leadership was happy to see that more members than usual showed up to this meeting. John Copeland answered questions about the OMI report. We still haven’t received anything back, but are keeping in close contact with Senator Reid and several other Senators and Congressmen, they will insure that we do get a report back from OMI. He also highlighted the current issues facing several executive officers of AFGE Local 2152 who are being focused on by management due to their Union activities. Finally the President unveiled plans to increase training available to members locally. In the past the focus has been on training provided out of town but now the local is focused more on spending money on arbitrations and will try to bring the Stewards who have already received training, together to train other members of the local, passing on the information they have learned.

11/12/11 AFGE Local 2152 Supports CASA

Ten members of AFGE Local 2152 went to the annual CASA Salsa dinner to support this very important local organization. Protecting those who are the most vulnerable is what UNION is all about.

11/11/11 Local 2152 Marches in Veteran’s Day Parade


About 20 people showed up to march in the Veteran’s Day Parade. With all of our banners, signs, and flags, we showed our support for Veterans in a positive spirit.
Two members of the press were present to ask questions and find out our purpose for marching. It was simple, to show support to those who have served our country, making the ultimate sacrifices.

10/26/11 Channel 2 & 4 News Air Union Story

On the news today were stories, aired by both channel 2 & 4, about the issues facing Veterans and employees at VA SNHCS. Although management has recently sent out an e-mail discouraging us from exercising both our 1st amendment rights, trying to dissuade us from speaking out on behalf of our Veterans, and implying that the Union has to get “permission” to talk to the media, we will continue to aggressively pursue this issue with the OMI and the Senators and Congressmen we are in contact with. The Union in no way represents the views of the VA or of management, does not speak on behalf of VA SNHCS but does speak on behalf of the employees and out of concern for better Veteran care.

Channel 4 Interview

(no longer available)

Channel 2 Interview

09/21/11 General Union Meeting

It was announced that Ramona Hall was stepping down due to ideological differences and that Jeanine Swygman would become the Chief Steward. However, Ramona remains commited to the Union cause, and to Local 2152. She continues to serve as a Steward, a tireless advocate for our employees and veterans, and a constant source of help to other stewards.

08/17/2011 General Union Meeting

The new website was introduced, general business was discussed, President John Copeland noted that he was feeling much better, and several current arbitrations were discussed.

08/07/2011 AFGE Local 2152 Gets a New Website

Hopefully our new website will help our members and stewards find the information, forms, news, or help they are looking for. Members can still connect with AFGE Local 2152 on Facebook.