( RENO, NEV.) – The American Federation of Government Employees, the nation’s largest federal employee union, is holding its 38th triennial convention August 24 – 28 at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, Nevada. The convention will bring together thousands of federal employees and union activists representing 75 federal agencies and the government of the District of Columbia, including the Social Security Administration, the Bureau of Prisons, and the departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security.
AFGE members will elect national leaders and vote on pending resolutions that will guide the union for the next three years. Convention attendees will hear from a diverse group of guest speakers, including newly confirmed Federal Labor Relations General Counsel Julie Clark, Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka, and author and motivational speaker Patrice Gaines.
“We have made significant gains since our last convention three years ago,” said AFGE National President John Gage. “During much of that, we spent a considerable amount of time and energy protecting our members and public services from the Bush administration. We are proud that we successfully fought for increased funding and staffing throughout the federal government and that we have defeated some of the most heinous proposals of the previous administration, but we certainly are not satisfied,” Gage added.
During the Bush administration, AFGE faced constant attacks, including privatization quotas, personnel policies aimed at eviscerating collective bargaining rights, and limited resources for entire agencies. Despite its significant gains, AFGE still faces challenges, including fighting the National Security Personnel System in the Department of Defense, securing full collective bargaining rights for Title 38 employees in the VA and for Transportation Security Officers, as well as increased staffing and funding within the Social Security Administration.
Since its last convention, AFGE participated heavily in the congressional and national election cycles, proving to be a key factor in President Obama’s victory. AFGE remains the foremost voice for dignity and stewardship in the promotion of good governance.