If you were listening in on this meeting, you could tell that the lawmakers from Virginia get along.
One of the signature aspects of this meeting between AFGE leadership in District 4 and the congressional delegation from Virginia was the good-natured quips flying back and forth between Virginia’s two senators, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, and representatives Bobby Scott and Elaine Luria, who joined in on the action as well.
But that camaraderie extended far beyond a few friendly jokes into serious matters of policy, legislation, and constituent services.
On the call, AFGE District 4 National Vice President Dan Doyle kicked things off by introducing each member of Congress. AFGE National President Everett Kelley and NVP Doyle each stressed AFGE’s most pressing needs.
Rep. Scott, the chair of the House Committee on Education and Labor, then gave a report on the work of his committee. He was followed by Senator Warner, then Senator Kaine who discussed progress of major infrastructure and voting rights legislation, among other bills in the Senate. Finally, Rep. Luria closed things out by highlighting the delegation’s continued efforts to restore the rights of Title 38 employees at the VA.
Each of the members of Congress also addressed issues of critical importance to AFGE, such as the FAIR Act, guaranteeing federal workers a 3.2% pay increase next year and giving TSA officers Title 5 rights.
When it came time for questions from AFGE leaders, the lawmakers were pressed on issues related to conditions inside prisons in the state as well as restoring rights of Title 38 employees at the VA. The members of Congress all agreed to work together to address the issues at the prisons. Likewise, they mentioned an upcoming meeting with the VA secretary where they plan to press him about our union’s continuing efforts to restore all the rights that were taken away from VA employees under the previous administration.
As the members of Congress left and the conversation continued among AFGE leaders, one AFGE leader remarked on the tremendous challenges that AFGE has been through in the last four years and how proud all AFGE members should be of the way our union has stuck together and come through the other side.
AFGE members showed the same solidarity and camaraderie that exists among the member of the Virginia congressional delegation. If they take that same AFGE fighting spirit back to Congress, we can expect some big results.