The beginning of the year always brings a renewed sense of hope. During this time of year, we always pledge to do many things better in our lives. We pledge to exercise more, eat better and make other positive changes. Likewise, for many AFGE Affiliates, the new year means making sure their year-end processes are complete. From filing DOL & IRS forms to performing audits to making sure that budgets are in place; there are many things that need to be done to make sure our financial houses are in order.
We are in a very difficult time for federal and D.C. Government workers. There were executive orders limiting official time and stripping worker protections. There was also the Department of Education arbitrarily re-writing the union contract without good faith negotiations and the Janus court decision. Both have attempted to decimate the federal and D.C. Government unions and weaken their ability to fight for the rights of workers. If that’s not bad enough, we have also been used as pawns in a political chess game that left many of us without pay during the longest ever federal government shutdown. A shutdown that left many workers scrambling to provide the basic needs for their families. During these hard times, the finances of our local unions have become even more important. Our locals need to be more vigilant in the maintenance of the union resources to ensure our ability to fight these attacks.
I am honored for the opportunity to serve the members of AFGE as the National Secretary-Treasurer (NST). It is my goal to bring harmony to our union and promote the participation of all members to revitalize AFGE. As part of that goal, I excited to re-launch the NST Advisor to provide vital financial related information to our members. This initial issue seeks to educate you on some of these very important year end processes. Just as we renew our pledges to make positive changes in our personal lives during the new year, let all financial officers pledge to be more diligent with the finances of the union.