FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 16, 2004
Communications
(202) 639-6419
Enid Doggett
(202) 230-2757
John Irvine
(703) 887-7643
Kurt Gallagher
(202) 639-6491

Federal Employees Mobilize and Organize

Hundreds to Attend Pittsburgh Conference



WHAT: AFGE Victory in ’04 Mobilizing and Organizing Conference
WHERE: Pittsburgh Convention Center (25th)
Omni William Penn Hotel (26th & 27th)
WHEN: June 25-27, 2004

WHAT: Telephone Press Conference (Attn: Washington Journalists)
WHEN: Friday, June 25, 2004, 11:00 AM
DIAL-IN: TBA

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Hundreds of federal employees from around the country will be in Pittsburgh next week (June 24-26) for the American Federation of Government Employees' (AFGE) Victory in ’04 Mobilizing and Organizing Conference to learn how they can get involved.

"Federal employees have seen themselves, and the public they serve, impacted by some very dramatic changes imposed by Congress and the current Administration over the last few years. Those same employees look forward to raising important issues such as homeland security measures, funding for veterans programs, and federal services and functions threatened by privatization," said AFGE National President John Gage.

AFGE members from numerous federal agencies and departments will be on hand to coordinate efforts on key issues including:

Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – Profound changes to the personnel systems of DoD and DHS are currently underway. Current proposals would, among other things, greatly weaken on-the-job protections for whistleblowers and could jeopardize national security.

Department of Veterans Affairs – Next year's federal budget underfunds veterans programs by at least $1.3 billion, despite claims to the contrary. This budget fails to address the needs of our fighting men and women in Iraq. "Today's soldier is tomorrow's veteran, and already more than 3,000 of these soldiers have suffered service-related injuries," said Gage.

Social Security Administration (SSA) – Current plans by the SSA threaten to dismantle services for Americans, particularly those who are disabled and poor. AFGE is working diligently to make the public and members of Congress aware of proposals within SSA that would detract from the agencies mission.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – Under a current plan by the Commissioner, EEOC field offices will be closed or consolidated, resulting in the termination of many staff members who handle complaints of discrimination. Duties then will be centralized in a call center operated by a private contractor. Legislation is currently before Congress to put a stop to this plan.

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