FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 17, 2006
Jemarion Jones (202) 639-6405

AFGE to Have Strong Presence During Blacks in Government Conference

(WASHINGTON)—The American Federation of Government Employees will present a series of thought-provoking, educational workshops during the 28th Annual Blacks In Government (BIG) National Training Conference, taking place Aug. 21-25 in New York.

The AFGE Membership and Organization Department developed the workshops under the leadership of its director, Sharon Pinnock. The first AFGE workshop, Leadership Coaching: Are Blacks in Government Missing the Boat?, will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 22 at 1 p.m. Pinnock and Mike Martin, acting director of leadership and employee development at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), will lead the workshop. Both Martin and Pinnock have leadership coaching certificates from Georgetown University.

“A surprising number of agencies are paying for professional coaching services for mid and upper-level managers,” said Pinnock, “This workshop will identify the difference between counseling, mentoring and coaching. Employees who wish to enhance their careers should definitely attend this workshop.”

AFGE also will offer EEOC Reorganization Plan during the same day and time. This workshop, presented by the AFGE Women’s and Fair Practices Department, will focus on the workings of a plan that AFGE feels jeopardizes worker livelihoods by burdening an already strained EEO system and making it more difficult for those who have been discriminated against to seek redress.

AFGE recently launched an awareness campaign (www.protectyourjob.org) to address the problems at the EEOC. Additionally, AFGE is the only union with a member on its executive board, National Vice President for Women’s and Fair Practices Andrea Brooks, dedicated to civil and human rights issues.

On Wednesday, Aug. 23 at 1 p.m., AFGE District 2 National Vice President Derrick Thomas will present Why Union, Why Now, a workshop designed to educate attendees on the importance of joining a union by addressing the administration’s plan to dismantle civil service through initiatives such as the Department of Defense’s National Security Personnel System and the Department of Homeland Security’s Max HR regulations.

“There are many federal employees who are not members of the local union in their workplace, said Thomas. “This workshop will offer reasons why and the importance of joining the union now.”

In addition to the workshops, AFGE representatives also will operate a booth during the conference’s exhibitor showcase to provide information on government policies and union membership.

Founded by African-American federal employees, BIG is a non-profit organization committed to improving public service through promoting equity, excellence and opportunity in the workplace. AFGE has partnered with BIG on several projects including efforts to educate federal workers about the dangers posed by the National Security Personnel System and the crisis in staffing and funding at the EEOC.

For more information about registering for the BIG conference and attending the AFGE workshops, please visit www.bignet.org. For more information about AFGE, please visit www.afge.org.

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