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AFGE: A Future “Big Enough to Win”

May 27, 2014

AFGE always has had its pulse on the issues of the day and its eye on the future.  On the eve of the 2013 Shutdown/Lockout, more than 700 AFGE members, officers and staff met in Orlando, Florida, to devise a strategy for growing the union in the coming decade.

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Categories: Labor

AFGE: The Vision in Review

May 21, 2014

From its humble beginnings as a upstart labor organization with 562 founding members, AFGE now represents more than 670,000 federal and D.C. government employees from coast to coast and around the world. AFGE has effectively spread its message of fair pay and working conditions for government employees, building a legacy of expanded employee bargaining rights and effecting change to better the lives of federal and D.C. government workers.

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Categories: Labor, Civil Rights

An Everyday Hero: Aaron Scott

May 19, 2014

Correctional Officer Aaron Scott doesn’t discuss what happens at work with his wife. He doesn’t talk about how he’s routinely surrounded by hundreds of drug dealers, gang members, and professional killers. He doesn’t tell her how these prisoners use weapons made with broken toilet seats, light fixtures, or whatever they could find to stab other inmates and staff members. He doesn’t share the fact that these inmates speak with their family members in code, that threats against staff are constant both inside and outside the prison walls.

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Categories: BOP

Memphis Plays Host City for AFGE’s 3 Events

May 19, 2014

Memphis, Tennessee, saw hundreds of AFGE leaders and activists in early May as AFGE held three events in the city known for its World Championship Barbeque Cooking Contest and Rock and Roll. The Council of Prison Locals held its Southeastern Regional Training on May 5-9. The training was attended by 250 AFGE leaders and activists and offered classes on arbitration, equal employment opportunity, workers compensation, advanced stewards training, and Cyberfeds training.

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Categories: Member Profile

What the Air Force can learn from New Coke

May 14, 2014

In the mid-1980s, Coca-Cola retired the formula for its classic soft drink in a bid to modernize its image. “New Coke” was an unmitigated and costly disaster, forcing the company to bring back the preferred original drink just three months later. In much the same way, the Air Force wants to retire a beloved aircraft unmatched in its ability to protect ground forces from attack and replace it with an upstart fighter jet that experts agree can’t compare to the original.

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Categories: DoD

Effecting Change...300,000 Strong!

May 12, 2014

By taking our message to the streets, airwaves, and halls of Congress, AFGE achieved groundbreaking advances for federal workers as it embarked on a decades-long march toward a membership 300,000 strong. Starting in 1946, AFGE won uniformity in salary increases and extended benefits to an additional half-million federal workers. In doing so we secured a 14 percent wage increase for federal workers.

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Categories: Labor, Civil Rights

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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