Browsing: Unions

Unions blast plan to delay sequester by cutting feds


Federal employee unions on Wednesday swiftly denounced a Republican plan to delay the steep budget cuts known as sequestration by cutting the federal workforce by 10 percent through attrition. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, R-Calif., James Inhofe of Oklahoma, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee and other GOP lawmakers proposed legislation that would put sequestration off by only allowing the federal government to hire one new employee for every three who leave. This would save about $85 billion, the same amount sequestration is supposed to cut for the rest of fiscal 2013. The American Federation…

NTEU: Public actually wants more gov't spending, employees


The National Treasury Employees Union is trying to push back against Republican efforts to convince the public to support policies that would cut back on federal employees and government services. Central to NTEU’s plan is a new survey they commissioned and released today, which found the vast majority of respondents think the government should put more resources and manpower behind food, medical device and nuclear safety, as well as border security and veterans assistance. “Some would have you believe the American people have this desire for austerity, but that’s not true,” NTEU President Colleen Kelley said in a phone conference…

Cox, Bastani seeking to be AFGE's next president


American Federation of Government Employees National President John Gage’s right-hand man and his leading rival in the last election will vie for control of the largest federal employee union this August. Gage, who has run AFGE for nine years, announced yesterday that he will not run for a fourth term as president. The office of AFGE National Secretary-Treasurer J. David Cox, the union’s second-highest ranking officer, confirmed today that he will run for president in the union’s August election. Alex Bastani, president of AFGE’s Local 12, which represents Labor Department employees, told Federal Times he also is running for president.…

Public Service Recognition Week: Octavia Hall


As an Army brat, Octavia Hall has always been around public service. She spent most of her life in Germany bouncing around several bases. Hall said it was both her family and her community who encouraged her to serve. “When I went out to the bus stop, I remember the soldiers coming over to talk to us about going to school, getting a good education, asking about our career goals. They contributed a lot to my wanting to serve,” Hall said. As military families do, Hall’s family moved again, this time to Maryland. In high school she was active in cheerleading and a singing-show group she compared to the…

AFGE's Cox to receive Yitzhak Rabin award


J. David Cox, the national secretary-treasurer of the American Federation of Government Employees, on May 9 will receive the Yitzhak Rabin Public Service Award. The American Friends of the Yitzhak Rabin Center is giving Cox the award — which honors labor leaders and was named for the slain Israeli prime minister, labor minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner — to honor his years spent organizing federal employees at the Veterans Affairs Department and Transportation Security Administration. Cox said he helped organize at least 75,000 VA employees in some 100 elections nationwide over the last 16 years, as well as another…

Friday Fun: Saxophones, elephants and 'AFGE and Me'


The American Federation of Government Employees today dug up a gem of a recruitment video from its archives. Behold: “AFGE and Me.” It’s got literally everything one could hope for. Saxophone riffs paired with footage of union members playing a cheap toy sax. Elephants and horse-riding Border Patrol agents. Hawaiian shirts. Astronauts. Little kids. And best of all, a maddeningly addictive earworm of a chorus. It looks and sounds 80’s-tastic, but AFGE spokesman Tim Kauffman says it was actually made around 1994. So, who wants to make the inevitable dubstep remix?

American Postal Workers Union sets contract vote


Members of the American Postal Workers Union will get about a month to decide the fate of a new contract, with the union dangling prizes to encourage locals to get out the vote, according to a news release. Ballots will be mailed out starting April 8 and are due back by May 10, with the actual count taking place the following day, May 11, the union release says. Depending on size and turnout, individual locals will be eligible for up to $4,000 in prizes to be used on members’ behalf. The union has also scheduled nine briefings around the country.…

Union: passport failure not our fault


The National Federation of Federal Employees says federal passport specialists are overworked and often don’t have time to thoroughly review passport applications. This burden may be responsible for the State Department’s failure to identify five of seven fraudulent passport applications the Government Accountability Office submitted in a covert operation, the union argued in a press release today. Passport agency workers have to meet productivity quotas and “failing to meet these numbers in the interest of carefully reviewing citizenship documents could lead to termination,” according to the NFFE. Passport specialists were unable to provide input when higher-ups were formulating the quotas,…

New rule: contractors must give employees union info


Government contractors and subcontractors are now required to post signs that “inform their employees of their rights as employees under federal labor laws.” Acquisition workers will have to write the provision into every contract they write from now on. The rule went into effect yesterday, about a month after the Labor Department published it in the Federal Register. It’s based on a Jan. 30, 2009 executive order from President Obama. The president wrote at the time that his order was “designed to promote economy and efficiency in government procurement.  When the Federal Government contracts for goods or services, it has…

Union faults SSA H1N1 prevention efforts


The Social Security Administration isn’t taking swine flu precautions seriously and risks exposing employees and their families to the virus, the American Federation of Government Employees says. In a Nov. 4 letter to SSA Commissioner Michael Astrue, AFGE Council 220 President Witold Skwierczynski said an SSA negotiator told Council 220 members in October that swine flu “is not a serious communicable disease.” Skwierczynski also said the negotiator and other SSA managers have threatened employees with disciplinary action should they decline to do face-to-face interviews with people who appear to be ill. The negotiator said anyone who appears to be sick…

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