Good bye 2017 and hello to a new year of activism! 2017 was an action-packed year for AFGE members. Thanks to our determination and collective action, we had so much success! Here’s to an even better 2018!
With Congress returning from recess and AFGE locals’ organizing campaigns in full swing, here are some of the critical issues we’ll be watching this year:
AFGE members are watching closely the funding of the government to make sure all agencies are fully funded, fully staffed, and able to carry out their mission and serve the American public. As a result of a last-minute deal last year, the current funding keeps the government open until Jan. 19. We are urging lawmakers to fully fund agencies and make a constant threat of a government shutdown a thing of the past.
2. Compensation, health care, retirement
A well-paying job, affordable health care, and retirement security should not be just a pipe dream for the American people who are citizens of one of the wealthiest countries in the world. AFGE members will continue to fight for fair compensation, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and programs that reflect the ideals of our country and what we stand for. Last year AFGE members were successful in blocking politicians’ efforts to cut our pay, health care, and retirement. We don’t plan on losing this year.
3. Privatization and conversions of work
Powerful special interests have been eyeing public assets that belong to the American people. AFGE members will continue to block privatization efforts and efforts to convert work to other labor sources at various agencies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, Bureau of Prisons, TSA, and FAA.
4. Due process
Due process is enshrined in our Constitution, and the federal government is required to be a model employer and protect employees from partisan retaliation. AFGE members will make sure we protect our due process rights to preserve fairness, justice, and democracy.
5. Official time
The federal government is an open shop, meaning employees are not required to join AFGE and pay dues even though they benefit from AFGE members’ work such as better working conditions, affordable health care, and decent retirement. Since the union is required by law to provide representation to everyone, and both the agency and the workforce benefit from our work, Congress agreed with bipartisan support that these employees who volunteer to represent their coworkers should be granted certain hours called official time to resolve disputes, address issues of discrimination or retaliation, and propose improvements in the workplace. But recently, some politicians have been pushing to limit or end official time through various pieces of legislation in an effort to gut employees’ workplace rights and undermine the union. AFGE members will fight to protect our voice at work and will be blocking those efforts again this year.
Join with your coworkers to raise our collective voice and win!
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