Special interests’ and their allies in Congress’ attacks on federal employees’ pay, benefits, and rights were relentless the past few weeks, but they couldn’t match the will and activism of AFGE members who bombarded Congress with calls, letters, and visits to their lawmakers. The results? These three major legislative victories that protect the civil service, jobs, and taxpayer dollars.
1. Rights at work
Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin was about to offer an amendment to the annual defense authorization bill that would have punished federal employees who serve as union representatives by cutting their pensions and bonuses. But thanks to the activism of AFGE members, he didn’t get around to offer it on the Senate floor as his colleagues had overwhelmingly voiced their concerns, which means the measure was unlikely to pass.
Johnson’s amendment is a vicious attack on employees’ right to join together and have their colleagues serve as their representatives to ensure fair treatment in the workplace and adequate resources to do their jobs as well as improve agency operations.
The Senate rejected new attempts to destroy local economies across the country through another round of base realignment and closure (BRAC). The amendment to be offered by Sen. John McCain of Arizona to the defense authorization bill was so controversial it was not even offered, thanks to the activism of AFGE members.
3. Outsourcing federal jobs
AFGE members were also able to stop the House of Representatives from bringing back the so-called A-76 outsourcing process. It is a well-known fact that federal employees are two to three times cheaper than contractors, but that didn’t stop some politicians from trying to outsource federal jobs just so the government appears smaller.
As the full House was considering a fiscal 2018 consolidated omnibus appropriations bill, it adopted an amendment offered by Rep. Matt Cartwright to prohibit the use of the A-76 process.
But the fight is not over
We still have many legislative battles ahead of us, especially ones that would take away our retirement.
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These are great victories, and you made them possible. Let's keep this momentum going!