AFGE On the Rise: What We've Accomplished Together

A lot of things have happened since our last national convention in 2015 – a new administration, hiring freezes, anti-union executive orders – just to name a few.  

Despite immeasurable obstacles, we’ve managed to make inroads on many fronts, including organizing current and new units.  

The partial list of our accomplishments below shows that our union is most powerful when we all stand together to protect our rights and democratic values. 

This convention is yet another chance for us to stand together and keep the fight going.  

Since we last met: 

Membership at record high 

  • Our membership reached a record high of 300,000 a few months after the convention. We are at over 317,000 now and counting. We have also added dozens of new units.  

New rounds of sequestration cuts prevented 

  • Because of our calls and visits to members of Congress, several bipartisan deals have been reached each year since 2013 to suspend harmful across-the-board sequestration cuts. The latest action was the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 which prevents sequestration cuts for 2018 and allows additional funding for government agencies. 

Wholesale outsourcing of federal jobs prevented 

  • Every year, politicians try to lift an A-76 ban on outsourcing of federal jobs. So far, thanks to pressure from AFGE members and the team of AFGE lobbyists working for you, they’ve failed. Our members, especially those in the Department of Defense, work hard every single year to keep this government-wide ban in effect. We continue to successfully protect federal jobs from being a target of wholesale outsourcing. 
  • Following protests and massive pushbacks by our members and congressional delegation, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority in 2018 rescinded its vote to contract out security at Orlando International Airport.  

Pay raises, locality pay won 

  • In 2015, we won a locality pay increase for more than 102,000 workers in 13 new cities: Albany, N.Y.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Austin, Texas; Charlotte, N.C.; Colorado Springs, Co.; Davenport, Iowa; Harrisburg, Pa.; Kansas City, Mo.; Laredo, Texas; Las Vegas, Nev.; Palm Bay, Fla.; St. Louis, Mo.; and Tucson, Ariz.  
  • Two weeks later, 78 counties were added to both old and new locality pay areas. 
  • In 2016, we won a locality pay increase for two more cities – San Antonio, Texas, and Birmingham, Ala.  
  • At our urging, President Obama agreed to give 2.1% pay raise for federal workers in 2017, matching the increase for service members.

Health care benefits expanded 

  • In 2016 – We successfully convinced OPM to require all FEHBP carriers to cover Applied Behavior Analysis treatment for those with autism. 

Better working conditions for our members 

  • In 2016, our union and the Federal Emergency Management Agency agreed on first national master agreement for 2,900 FEMA employees nationwide 
  • Because of the hard work of our members, Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the Eric Williams Correctional Officer Protection Act, providing pepper spray to correctional officers at medium-, high-, and maximum-security prisons.  
  • We created a new council to better serve our members: AFGE Council 270 officially formed to represent National Park Service employees in northeast U.S. 
  • With our urging, Congress in 2017 passed legislation providing $1.4 billion in new funding to help the VA better serve veterans. 
  • After years of lobbying by AFGE members, Congress passed legislation that requires the government to create a national registry of data on cancer rates among firefighters. 

Building allies 

  • At the AFL-CIO convention in 2017, delegates from 56 national and international labor unions passed two resolutions submitted by our union in support of workers at the Department of Veterans Affairs, which has been under a privatization threat. 
  • On the day our lawyers presented oral arguments against the Trump administration’s union-busting executive orders, thousands of AFGE members, over 100 union presidents, Members of Congress, and members of other unions joined us for a massive #RedForFeds rally in DC. At the same time, union members from dozens of other unions were showing solidarity at over 65 #RedForFeds events being held by AFGE members across the country.  

Mobilizing more activists 

  • We developed a Legislative Political Coordinator program, which are rank and file members who are willing to use their voice to engage on legislative and political activities on their own time for government employee issues. This program has been a big success and has been responsible for helping to achieve many legislative victories. We are always looking for more people to become engaged and contribute to success. Please let your local know if you would like to become an LPC. 
  • We developed online training for union reps or people who want to learn more about the union. 

Recent AFGE News:

What Does It Mean to Be AFGE?

December 03, 2018

It’s been 86 years, and our goal remains the same: build a better workplace for federal employees so they can focus on the job they’ve been hired to do serving the American people.

Read More


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