Oklahoma Member Finds AFGE’s Union Plus

May 12, 2014

The oddly shaped Bradford pear tree rooted firmly in Christabel Elliott’s backyard serves as a reminder of the lives that were lost and destroyed when a series of tornadoes ripped through the Oklahoma City area (most severely in Moore, Okla.) last May. The 20-year-old tree, which gave up half its branches in the storm, also prompts Elliott – a member of AFGE Local 2562 in District 11 – to recall that strong union roots can provide much needed financial support through the AFGE Union Plus Disaster Relief Grant, when natural disasters tear through the landscape of everyday life.

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Categories: Member Benefits

Bill Introduced to Provide BOP Correctional Officers with Pepper Spray

May 09, 2014

Two senators from Pennsylvania Sens. Pat Toomey and Bob Casey Jr. were determined that the death of Bureau of Prisons Correctional Officer Eric Williams last year wouldn't be in vain, and so this week – the National Correctional Officers Week – they introduced a bill that would provide BOP officers and employees with pepper spray so that they can protect themselves in emergency situations.

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Categories: BOP

I Am AFGE - Christopher Lee Castle

May 07, 2014

Christopher shares his story in the latest documentary produced by AFGE as part of our “I Am AFGE” campaign, which is designed to increase the public’s awareness and appreciation of the women and men who work for them every day.

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Categories: Member Profile

The Government Apocalypse: Life Without Public Servants

May 06, 2014

This year, I thought I’d pay tribute to government workers by reflecting on what life would look like without them. Politicians of a certain brew, so to speak, no doubt would be crooning “Here Comes the Sun” at such a scenario. But in reality, without public workers on the job, we’d all be having “A Hard Day’s Night.”

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Categories: Labor, Civil Rights

How to Reverse the Tide of Costly Outsourcing

May 06, 2014

You hear a lot in the news about employers outsourcing their operations overseas to drive down labor costs, resulting in job losses at home and diminished quality and customer service. The same thing happens in the federal government, only the outsourcing replaces federal employees with for-profit contractors who actually charge taxpayers more for the same services. Why is this happening, you might ask? A big reason is arbitrary caps on the size of the civilian workforce at many agencies, most notably at the Department of Defense. 

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2014 Labor History Month (1/4)

May 05, 2014

Founded in the darkest depths of the Great Depression, AFGE came to life when the American Federation of Labor gave the little group of 562 members its charter on August 18, 1932. From these humble beginnings, AFGE began building an empowered workforce and a government that was empowered to meet the needs of the American people.

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Categories: Labor, Civil Rights

AFGE Celebrates National Nurses Week

May 05, 2014

AFGE joins millions of nurses around the world in celebrating National Nurses Week May 6-12. As a representative of more than 100,000 government employees who are proud members of the nursing profession, AFGE is committed to fighting for their workplace rights. Through collective bargaining, legislative advocacy, legal representation, organizing and education, AFGE ensures that government sector nurses and the patients they care for are protected.

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Categories: DoD, VA

House Panel Passes Bill to Make Corporate Tax Breaks Permanent without Offsets

May 02, 2014

House lawmakers are usually in the habit of demanding offsets when funding programs that benefit most Americans, but this week they refused to do so when they voted to make corporate tax breaks permanent, adding $300 billion to the deficit over 10 years. These are the same people who voted against extending unemployment insurance benefits to millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet.

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Defense Commissaries: A Benefit We Can’t Afford to Lose

April 29, 2014

The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) provides military families with groceries and household goods at cost plus a 5% surcharge. Shoppers save an average of more than 30% on their purchases compared to commercial prices, adding up to thousands of dollars in savings every year for regular shoppers.

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Categories: DoD

3.3% Pay Raise Bill Gets More Co-sponsors

April 25, 2014

More lawmakers have signed on to co-sponsor a bill that would give federal employees a 3.3% pay raise in 2015. The Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act, introduced by Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia in March, recognizes the spike in attrition rate among federal workers that has gone up by 35% since 2009.

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Categories: Pay

AFGE Supports Bill to Provide Death Benefits for TSA Officers Killed on the Job

April 23, 2014

Like police officers, state troopers and firefighters, Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) regularly put their lives on the line to protect the security of others. Last November the first TSO was killed in the line of duty at Los Angeles International Airport. But unlike police officers, state troopers and firefighters, current laws do not provide the same death benefits that other federal law enforcement officers receive for TSA officers’ families.

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