AFGE’s membership is growing. At the same time the challenges to the quality of the conditions of employment enjoyed by federal and D.C. government employees for decades are multiplying at an alarming rate. AFGE is committed to the best possible representation of its members but recognizes that the federal and D.C. government employers possess virtually limitless resources in curtailing and opposing the vindication of members’ rights.
As a result, AFGE is resolved to strengthen its own means, and the means of its affiliates, to furnish members with the highest quality representation, by enhancing the involvement of attorneys in members’ representation. This enhancement involves several initiatives undertaken in the past year, including the addition of four new Legal Rights attorneys, implementation of a case tracking system, substantially increased litigation by the Fair Practices Department, renewed focus on the establishment of Legal Representation Funds to provide additional financial support for legal representation, and an effort to re-structure and re-organize the system by which legal representation is provided to members to make this system more cost-efficient, user-friendly, and more effective. In addition, two new computer programs,
CaseTrack and Contract Search, have been created to help Locals and Councils with their representation. Launched in 2005, AFGE CaseTrack is a free system offered to our union representatives to help manage and keep track of cases, including grievances, unfair labor practice charges, EEO cases, MSPB cases, bargaining requests and others. Initially, Contract Search was launched with about 20 national agreements. Since then, some 50 contracts from Department of Defense (DoD) local unions have been added, and more are added each month. The program’s powerful search engine database, ultimately expected to include every AFGE contract, will permit virtually every word in every contract to be searchable. The potential benefits of this product are only now being imagined.