(WASHINGTON) – The nation's largest union of federal employees, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), today praised Congress for reaching a FY08 budget agreement which includes a well deserved pay raise for federal workers and will increase staffing levels at the Federal Protective Service. The 2008 budget also includes significant contracting out reforms and will defund the misguided MaxHR personnel system.
“We applaud the House and Senate for standing with federal employees against the nickel and dime tactics of the Bush administration,” said John Gage, AFGE national president. “This agreement honors the dedication of our nation’s invaluable federal employees.”
Also included in the budget is the full restoration of the Federal Protective Service. The legislation, sponsored by New York Senator Hillary Clinton, calls for the rehiring of the law enforcement officers lost by the Federal Protective Service through the Bush administration’s efforts to downsize the agency. The legislation also calls on the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to appropriately fund the agency so that it may fulfill its mission of protecting America.
“The workplace safety of over one million federal employees in over two thousand American communities depends on the Federal Protective Service. The Bush administration’s scheme would place these workers at risk by reducing the level of protection around federal buildings and placing even more responsibility in the hands of private contractors. We must make sure the safety and security of our federal workers and federal facilities aren’t compromised,” said Senator Clinton.
AFGE also applauds Congress for making significant reforms to the privatization process, including the exclusion of health care and retirement costs from the contracting out cost comparison process in all non-Department of Defense agencies, the establishment of appeal rights for all federal employees, the prohibition against the Office of Management and Budget from telling agencies to conduct privatization studies, and the creation of a pilot project to track the cost of service contracts and the number of employees working to carry them out.
House and Senate conferees have also agreed to defund the Department of Homeland Security’s controversial Max HR program, which would have stripped DHS employees of collective bargaining rights.
“Through their agreement, Congressional conferees prevented the Bush administration’s repeated attempts to deny employees of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the right to collectively bargain by defunding the controversial Max HR program,” added Gage.