Unions Express Hopes for New Administration

Federal labor unions hailed the election of Sen. Barack Obama, D.-Ill, as the 44th president of the United States, and outlined hopes for working closely with the new administration next year. The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) said Obama’s election would provide “a major opportunity to turn the public conversation toward a much-needed discussion of how federal agencies may best serve the public.” NTEU said that, among other things, it hoped to work with the new administration to end inefficient outsourcing contracts and return work to agencies; provide adequate resources to agencies; maintain sufficient staffing levels; give agencies sufficient authority to achieve their missions; and increase productivity through partnerships and other collaborative efforts. The president of the American Federation of Government Employees, John Gage, noted that Obama met with union leaders numerous times during the election season and voiced his commitment to fully fund and staff the Social Security Administration, the Bureau of Prisons, and the Department of Veterans Affairs; allow for collective bargaining rights at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA); and recognize the inherently governmental work of federal employees. The AFL-CIO credited Obama’s victory in part to the work of union members who volunteered to turn out union voters in key battleground states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio.

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