AFGE Spotlight

Categories: The Insider

Welcome to the AFGE Spotlight! This new addition is a weekly roundup of the major actions AFGE has taken in the last week as captured by the press. Whether it’s a rally or a letter to Congress, what we do has an impact, so keep it up!

Here’s what happened the week of June 22-26:

USCIS Threatens Massive Furloughs Without Emergency Funding: The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said it would begin issuing furlough notices as soon as this week to three-fourths of its staff, roughly 13,400 employees. The furloughs would go into effect Aug. 3 and could last longer than 30 days. The immigration agency says it needs an emergency appropriation of $1.2 billion to avoid the furloughs and offset a reduction in fee revenue caused at least in part by the COVID-19 pandemic. During a congressional hearing last week, AFGE National President Everett Kelley called on Congress to approve the budget request on the condition that no employees be furloughed. “Furloughs of this magnitude would make it entirely impossible for the agency to carry out more than a tiny fraction of its mission,” Kelley said. Read the testimony.

AFGE Continues to Urge Caution in Reopening Rush: AFGE Public Policy Director Jacqueline Simon cautioned lawmakers against prematurely reopening federal worksites during a June 25 hearing that examined how the government can protect federal employees while continuing operations and providing vital resources to the public. Simon said there should be no reopening unless and until federal agencies have the full capacity to test, protect, trace, and inform their workforces, and unless and until genuine, objective data on the status of the pandemic shows it has subsided. “A premature end of these measures is a guarantee of resurgence and a guarantee that thousands more will suffer and die,” Simon said. Read the testimony

EPA Rushes to Reopen Offices Without Union Negotiations: The Environmental Protection Agency is rushing to reopen offices with little regard to the health and safety of employees and without completing required negotiations with the union, AFGE said in a statement issued this week in response to a June 24 letter the union received from the agency’s acting head of human resources. “Agency briefings are not the same as formal negotiations with the union. EPA is enforcing its plans for reopening worksites without satisfying its legal obligations to negotiate the impact of those changes with AFGE,” the statement said. Read more here.

More online: All of our coronavirus-related letters, press releases, guidance, and more can be found online at

Click here for a roundup of links to news articles that feature AFGE and/or the issues important to us.

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