• Advertisement

The Heritage Foundation Takes Aim At Federal Workers

Federal Workers beware. Republicans and the Heritage Foundation are coming to steal your pay and slash your benefits.

heritage-foundation-logoThe Heritage Foundation, a well known right-wing think tank started by the Koch brothers, released a new report that directly targets federal workers in the ongoing race to the bottom.

The majority of the savings would come from eliminating any defined contribution plan or pension, as part of a workers retirement package and forcing workers into the government’s defined contribution plan, a 401K called the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).

From reporting by Government Executive online:

“New hires and workers with less than five years of experience should be shifted to a more generous defined contribution system exclusively — with a maximum government match of 8 percent of employees’ salaries into their Thrift Savings Plan accounts — while employees already retired, separated or with 25 years experience should be grandfathered into the current system, the think tank said.

Those with between five and 25 years of federal service would be given three different options enabling them to either keep the same basic structure while contributing more toward their pensions, or to freeze or stop their defined benefit in favor of a more generous TSP contribution.”

Their plan would steal a workers pension and in trade give them the option to add an additional 3% in contributions to their TSP.

Working people across the country are already struggling to pay their bills as wages have stagnated but the Heritage Foundation wants workers to fund their own retirements by taking more out of their paychecks.

The private sector shifted to 401K retirements over the last two decades as a way to reduce their operating costs and force the employee to plan and fund their own retirement. The loss of employer-funded pensions is also why many seniors are forced to work well past retirement age and rely more on Social Security to pay their bills.

The Heritage Foundation also suggests that lawmakers make it easier to fire workers by reducing the “burden of proof necessary to fire” workers and expanding the probationary period for workers three fold.

On top of that the Heritage Foundation want Congress to cut federal workers vacation time (Annual Leave) and Sick Leave to replace it with a “paid time off” system. This means if a worker gets sick they would not longer have a bank of Sick Leave to draw from but would have to draw from their total PTO time. This is the same program that has screwed private sector workers out of their paid sick leave.

The report does not indicate whether or not a worker would be allowed to carry over any unused PTO like they can with Annual and Sick leave now.

Lastly the Heritage suggested that Congress should strip away all retirement health benefits from workers yet to be hired.

Right-wing think tanks like the Heritage Foundation like to tell everyone that federal workers are overpaid and have outrageous benefit packages but many others argue that is not the case.

“Federal employees remain significantly underpaid compared to their private sector counterparts, according to a review by a group advising the president on federal wages, with feds’ pay lagging 35 percent behind non-federal workers performing similar jobs,” wrote Government Executive in a 2015 article.

Jessica Klement, legislative director of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association told GovExec that, “federal pay lags behind industry in many sectors and large companies often offer benefits the government does not.”

“If anything, the federal government should start to emulate those practices, not move further away from attracting top talent to serve our nation,” Klement added.

David Cox, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, called the report a “vicious” attack on the federal workforce.

“It is disgusting to advocate for cutting the pay for the people who care for our veterans, patrol our borders, and inspect our food, while showering the wealthy with billions in tax cuts,” Cox said.

Private sector workers are already feeling the downward pressure of the ongoing race to the bottom. They have already begun to lose their healthcare benefits, the vacation time, and their pay. Now wealthy business elites, with the help of their “think tank” the Heritage Foundation, have turned their sights on federal workers.

We need to stop letting these wealthy business executives and greedy politicians pit worker against worker. The result will leave working people suffering while they reap all the benefits of our hard work.

Push to Provide Federal Employees with 5.3% Catch-Up Pay Gains Steam

afge workers raise

Image from AFGE

Senate introduces companion to House bill that would help employees make up lost ground

WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees strongly supports legislation introduced by Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii that would provide salaried and hourly federal employees with a 5.3% catch-up wage adjustment in 2017. The Senate bill is a companion to House legislation introduced in February by Rep. Gerry Connolly.

“Federal employees paid more than their fair share to help dig us out of the Great Recession. Now that the recovery is in full swing, it’s time for Congress to help employees make up some of that lost ground by providing a 5.3% catch-up adjustment,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said.

Sens. Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and Sherrod Brown of Ohio are original cosponsors of the Senate bill, S 2699. The House bill, HR 4585, currently has 36 cosponsors.

Federal workers have endured $182 billion in lost wages and reduced benefits as a result of pay freezes, meager wage hikes, and mandatory increases in retirement contributions. Because federal salaries have failed to keep up with inflation, employees today have a lower standard of living than they had at the start of the decade.

“This adjustment will help employees catch up on their credit card bills, student loan debts, home repairs, and so many of the everyday costs facing today’s workers,” Cox said.

Congress must pass the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act to ensure that federal agencies are able to recruit and retain the best and brightest employees, Cox said.

“If an employer fails to provide its workers with competitive wages and benefits, many workers will leave and find jobs where they are compensated more fairly,” Cox said. “The government relies on experienced employees to carry out vital programs and services on behalf of the American public. We can’t afford to let these employees walk out the door.”


The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.

Deceptively Named Federal Employee Rights Act is “Venomous Attack” on Federal Workers, AFGE Says

AFGE David CoxAnti-labor bill would strip federal employees of their most fundamental workplace rights

WASHINGTON – Legislation introduced in the House would strip federal employees of their basic workplace rights and disempower the people who care for our veterans, inspect our food, and deliver our social security checks, American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. today.

“This is yet another in a long line of systematic attacks on working-class and middle-class Americans at the local, state and federal levels,” Cox said. “The sole objective of these anti-labor actions is to make it as difficult as possible for working people to join unions and to diminish basic rights and protections that all employees deserve.”

H.R. 4461, the Federal Employee Rights Act, introduced by House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price of Georgia, would substantially eliminate the federal worker voice and make it much harder for federal employees to join a union.

“This legislation has a very misleading title and is being introduced under the false premise that federal employees are forced to pay union dues. Only federal employees who choose to join the union pay union membership dues,” Cox said.

“This is just the latest in a string of venomous attacks targeting the federal workforce: stripping VA employees of their due process rights, removing civil service protections for DoD workers, doubling the period in which new employees can be fired without cause.

“When you take away an employee’s basic rights to representation and due process, you end up with a system in which employees are fearful of coming forward to expose waste, fraud and abuse at their worksites. These types of poisonous proposals will result in higher rates of employee turnover and make it that much harder for agencies to recruit the best and brightest employees to deliver critical programs and services that Americans rely on.” 

Budget Austerity, Not Inflexibility, Is What Bedevils The Federal Pay System

AFGE David Cox

Federal personnel system is flexible enough to meet demands, union leader says

WASHINGTON – Federal agencies have more than enough flexibility within the current pay system to raise wages as needed to meet market demands, yet they continue to suffer from budget shortfalls and bureaucratic foot-dragging, the head of the largest federal employee union told a Senate panel today.

American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. rejected the charge that the federal pay system itself is to blame for agency failures to respond quickly to changing labor market conditions. In the past several years, it has been austerity budgets and the strong reluctance on the part of agencies to incur higher costs.

“The bottom line is that the federal pay systems suffer from a lack of funding, not a lack of flexibility,” Cox said in testimony delivered Oct. 22 to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management.

Following the discovery of an oil field in the Bakken region of North Dakota in 2006, the demand in the region skyrocketed. Wages and prices both rose substantially. Yet federal agencies in the region were slow to respond.

Cox attributed the delays to finger pointing between government agencies and lack of money to cover the higher wages. Once agencies made the formal request to increase wages, the Office of Personnel Management responded within eight to 12 weeks – a fair turnaround, he said.

“There is no question that current law and regulation contain fully adequate flexibilities for responding to special economic situations such as surges in demand and prices,” Cox said. “The delayed and limited action on the part of federal agencies in response to the oil boom in the Bakken region was wholly a function of austerity budgets and bureaucratic foot-dragging on the part of agencies. OPM did its part and did so quickly.”

Cox continued, “The federal pay system’s only real problem is the refusal of successive Congresses and successive presidential administrations to provide adequate funding.”

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.

As Scott Walker’s Poll Numbers Freefall, He Unveils His “New” Plan, Attack Workers

(Image by Gage Skidmore CC FLIKR)

(Image by Gage Skidmore CC FLIKR)

Governor Scott Walker is desperately grasping to hang onto the spotlight as his Presidential campaign begins to go down in flames.

Today Walker is set to announce his new plan to attack federal workers and their unions in an effort to gain support from Republicans.

Scott Walker has based his entire Presidential campaign on “taking on unions in Wisconsin” and how he can do the same in Washington.  Attacking unions seems to be the only left for Walker to talk about as Wisconsin’s economy falls flat, as his failed job creation center collapses under controversy of corruption, and critics attack him for failing to properly fund the state’s education system.

The Hill reports:

“During a speech in Illinois Thursday, Walker said he would take on federal employee labor groups on his first day in office. His proposal would require the unions to disclose exactly what percentage of union dues are spent on political activity, and ban the automatic deduction from feds’ paychecks in a corresponding amount.

Walker said his plan was part of an effort to “wreak havoc on Washington” by transferring “power from the big government union bosses to the hardworking taxpayer,” according to the Associated Press.”

…his plan, which he is scheduled to unveil in full on Monday, would stop federal employees’ money from going to politicians or political activities they do not support. Unions can use mandatory dues to pay for certain political organizing.

The Hill also spoke with David J. Cox, President of the American Federation of Government Employees, clarified the union’s position on campaign donations and dues deductions.

“…union dues automatically withdrawn from federal paychecks do not go to supporting federal candidates. Those contributions instead come from optional donations from union members to the group.”

Just to be clear, it is already against the law for a union to use dues money for campaign contributions.  The law is as clear as night and day on dues and campaign contributions.

“…Union dues are used for negotiating with management on better working conditions, protecting employees from discrimination and retaliation in the workplace, and educating lawmakers and congressional staff from both sides of the aisle on issues of vital importance to employees.”

Trying to repeal automatic dues deductions is union busting 101.

Walker is trying to break the unions by ripping out their funding stream, making it harder to collect dues money from members.  This tactic has been pushed by Republicans in dozens of state legislatures across the country in an attempt to break, state and public, employee unions.

Of course Walker’s plan has support of a few Republicans in Congress who have been using federal employees as their own personal piggy bank to balance their budgets.  Forcing pay freezes, increases in retirement contributions and pushing for a 10% cut in the overall workforce.

Of course Walker and Congress would have legal issues if something like, removing automatic dues deductions, were somehow get this passed.

“The feasibility of such a maneuver would likely prove difficult, as unions’ dues collection procedures are codified in statute and collective bargaining agreements.”

Here is a little tip for Governor Walker.

It is the hard working men and women, in cities and towns across the country, that keep the government running. They are the ones who are doing the work. They are the ones who are helping people when they have problems with their VA benefits or collecting their Social Security.  They are the ones who ensure our safety as we the people fly all across the world.  They are the ones who deliver our mail, inspect our food, and protect our environment.   It is federal workers who get the job done.

If Walker’s falling poll numbers indicate anything, it is that attacking workers is not a good campaign strategy.

Jeb Bush Essentially Says To Federal Workers, Screw You!

Jeb Bush (Gage Skidmore FLIKR)

Can we all stop pretending that Jeb Bush is a “moderate” rather than the far-right wing extremist he really is?

“He [Jeb Bush] championed tax cuts that chiefly benefited business and the wealthy, trimmed the state’s payroll, stripped job protection from thousands of mid-level civil servants, gained more power over the judiciary, exploited his Washington connections to prevent the closing of military bases and launched the nation’s first statewide private-school voucher program,” wrote Linda Kleindienst of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in 2007.

Jeb Bush has made it perfectly clear that he wants federal workers to give up more to pay for his brother’s tax cuts that should never have happened.

Yesterday the Hill published the article, Jeb Bush: Strip Feds of Automatic Pay Raises and Due Process, which is even worse than the title indicates.

He starts with yet another hiring freeze and reducing the number of dedicated public servants by eliminating positions as people retire. His plan is similar to Congressman Paul Ryan’s plan (replace one worker for every three who retire). So when Joe and Mary retire from OSHA that means will just have to make do with two fewer safety inspectors because the campaign contributors Bush caters to won’t care if OSHA is grossly understaffed and can’t fulfill its responsibilities.

In theory the Bush/Ryan plan would reduce the overall government workforce by 10% in five years. That’s 10% less Air Traffic Controllers, 10% less food safety inspectors in the Department of Agriculture, 10% less agents to help you in the Social Security Administration, 10% fewer scientists at NASA, 10% fewer prosecutors in the Department of Justice, 10% ….you get the idea.

That is only the beginning. Next he wants to go after workers’ paychecks!

Jeb argues that federal workers are overpaid and that the government rewards “longevity instead of performance.” He wants to eliminate annual increases and only give increases “based on performance.”

This is another classic union-busting tactic: pitting workers against each other for pay increases and rewarding those who oppose the union or suck up to their managers. What happens to workers who question their boss about safety violations in their workplace? What happens to workers who see something illegal going on? Do you think they will be getting pay raises next year?

How do you judge the performance of a food safety inspector? Is it the number of violations he caught and wrote up, which resulted in a lower number of facilities inspected, or is the employee who breezed through more facilities but missed more violations?

On top of pitting workers against each other, as Governor Jeb Bush incentivized managers who saved the government money or found ways for their departments to reduce spending. “Sorry no bonuses for you because I am showing Governor Bush that I am saving the government thousands of dollars.”

The political right loves to tell everyone that government workers are overpaid and are underserving of their paycheck. In fact the Washington Post reported the complete opposite.

White-collar federal employees on average earn 35.2 percent less than private-sector workers in comparable jobs.”

I actually agree with Jeb when he says: “Just like in the real world, compensation should depend on the type of work, and the quality of the work.” The Washington Post goes on to say that more educated federal workers are at a “disadvantage” to their private sector counterparts.

I think someone should inform Jeb that federal workers have already given more than their share from their paychecks. Over the last ten years alone federal workers have contributed over $159 billion dollars to debt reduction plans pushed by the Republicans who control Congress.

  • Federal workforce contribution_April 9 copy3-year pay freeze (2011, 2012, 2013) — $98 billion
  • 2012 UI extension which increased retirement contributions for 2013 hires to 3.1% — $15 billion
  • 2013 lost salaries of 750,000 employees furloughed because of sequestration — $1 billion
  • 2013 Murray-Ryan increased retirement contributions for post-2013 hires to 4.4% — $6 billion
  • 2014 pay raise of only 1%; lower than baseline of 1.8% — $18 billion
  • 2015 pay raise of only 1%; lower than baseline of 1.9% — $21 billion

Total Federal Employee Sacrifice Thus Far: $159 billion

In the 2016 budget they want to take even more!

Republicans are proposing another $238 billion in forced concessions by federal workers through higher retirement contributions and creating a voucher system for health benefits that are going to cost employees even more.

The 2016 budget will force federal workers to lose between $2,525 and $5,617 dollars. Each.

So far Jeb Bush wants slash the number of dedicated public servants, force workers to give back thousands of dollars from their own wallets to “reduce the debt,” give bonuses to managers who reduce spending in their departments, and then he wants to make it easier to fire employees for arbitrary reasons.

That’s right, Jeb Bush wants to strip away employees’ union rights, repealing the right to due process and turning federal workers into “at will employees” – all to make it easier to fire people.

Another classic union busting tactic is to “reduce spending” by firing higher-paid employees (before they can collect any retirement) and replacing them with lower-paid new employees.

As Governor, Jeb Bush used this same tactic to fire 16,000 workers from their jobs with the State of Florida. Jeb Bush gave agency heads to use their “sound discretion” to send people packing, and tied it to his “Service First” program that gave incentives to managers who found ways to reduce government spending.

This isn’t a “moderate” agenda.

Bush may not be insulting veterans or giving out people’s cell phone numbers – and he’s not trying to terrify the electorate with talk of apocalypse or an imagined invasion of Texas – but a lack of hard-core lunacy doesn’t make him a moderate candidate.

He’s part of the far-right wing.

His agenda would decimate federal services that we rely on.

And as this “clown car” primary season keeps getting weirder and weirder, we need to not lose sight of that.

Federal Union Leader Says Senate Budget Plan Cuts Wages for Working People

Federal employees would see 5.5% pay cut under proposal, AFGE president says

WASHINGTON – Federal employees would be on the hook for billions of dollars in cuts to their take-home pay and benefits under a budget plan issued today by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi, American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. said.

“Senate leaders have doubled down on the vicious budget cuts proposed a day earlier by their House colleagues,” President Cox said. “Their vision for the future means more financial pain and sacrifice for millions of hard-working Americans who serve the public day in and day out.”

Both the Senate and House budgets for fiscal 2016 would require federal employees to contribute substantially more of their wages toward their retirement without getting any additional benefits in return. This would result in a 5.5 percent cut in salary for most current employees.

That 5.5% pay cut would mean a $1,757 per year loss for a nursing assistant caring for veterans at the Sheridan VA Medical Center in Sen. Enzi’s home state of Wyoming.

“If Chairman Enzi wants to talk about helping working class people with a straight face, he needs to explain how someone caring for our nation’s wounded warriors is supposed to support his or her family when their senator is so focused on cutting their pay,” Cox said.

“Federal employees already have seen their wages and benefits slashed by nearly $160 billion under the guise of fiscal austerity,” Cox added. “When is enough going to be enough?”

“Slashing the wages and benefits of government employees who have devoted their lives to serving the public isn’t a plan for growing the economy. On the contrary, it’s a sure-fire way to lower the living standards for working class people who have already paid a steep price during the economic recession,” Cox said.

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.

Union Member and Correctional Counselor Stands for Safety at Federal Prisons

I AM AFGE Screenshot

AFGE member Nathan McCasline stresses need for safer work conditions at federal prisons in latest AFGE documentary

WASHINGTON – Correctional officers inside federal prisons carry no weapons. Most are not even allowed to have pepper spray, and officers only recently won the right to wear protective vests. They often work alone – just one officer for every 130 to 150 inmates.

That’s why the top concern for correctional counselor Nathan McCasline is the safety and security of his fellow officers and staff. Nathan is president of American Federation of Government Employees Local 510, which represents Bureau of Prisons employees at Federal Correctional Institution-Edgefield, a medium-security prison near the South Carolina-Georgia border that houses more than 1,700 male inmates.

“As a union official, it is my duty and it is an obligation to do all I can to make sure that the workplace is as safe as possible so that at the end of the day, that officer can go home to his family,” Nathan says.

Nathan shares his story in the latest documentary produced by AFGE, which represents Nathan and more than 37,000 Bureau of Prisons correctional officers, nurses, teachers, and other staff. The documentary series is part of AFGE’s year-long campaign, “I Am AFGE,” to increase the public’s awareness and appreciation of the women and men who work for them every day.

“Our correctional officers put their lives at risk every day they go to work, and unfortunately some have lost their lives while in the line of duty,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said. “They should not have to fear going to work, and their families and loved ones should not have to worry that they might not come home. That is why AFGE and our Council of Prison Locals have launched the Safe Prisons Project to improve working conditions for Bureau of Prisons employees. They watch over some of America’s most dangerous inmates; the least we can do is watch out for their safety.”

The Safe Prisons Project has three main goals:

  • Increase funding for the Bureau of Prisons to address chronic understaffing issues that put officers in danger;
  • Expand the Pepper Spray Pilot Program to all federal prisons so correctional officers can defend themselves; and
  • Support mandatory sentencing reform by backing the Smart Sentencing Act of 2013 (S 1410 and HR 3382) to reduce overcrowding of our prisons.

“What the union does, it gives us the opportunity to be able to get the equipment we need, to try to fight to get the staffing we need,” Nathan says. “The union also helps us get our voice up on Capitol Hill to let them know we need additional people to be able to come and work this job.”

Nathan’s story is one of 15 short-form documentaries being released by AFGE through the end of the year, highlighting individual federal employees who carry out important work across the country.

All of the videos are being posted online and distributed to hundreds of news outlets across the country. The campaign also is being promoted through social media, an employee photo contest and other events.

“AFGE represents tens of thousands of law enforcement officers at the Bureau of Prisons and other federal agencies who put their lives on the line every day,” President Cox said. “They and all other government employees have dedicated their careers to serving the public. This campaign is our way of thanking them for their service and reminding Americans of the valuable work they do.”

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Advocate Discusses Fighting Workplace Discrimination in Latest AFGE Documentary

Agency has struggled to serve workers with shrinking budget, union leader Gabrielle Martin says


WASHINGTON – In the 50 years since the Civil Rights Act was signed into law, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s mission to protect employees from job-related discrimination has expanded as our nation has become more determined to enforce equal rights under the law for all Americans.

EEOC’s initial focus on discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin has grown to cover age, disability, genetic information, and more recently transgender status and gender identity.

But EEOC’s budget has not kept pace, says Gabrielle Martin, president of the American Federation of Government Employees council representing EEOC employees. “We have been woefully underfunded for most of our existence,” Gabrielle says.

The budget cuts required under sequestration have hit EEOC especially hard, resulting in unfilled vacancies that mean longer wait times for employees facing discrimination to receive assistance from the agency. It currently takes nine months on average for EEOC to investigate a case once it’s been filed, Gabrielle says.

“A pregnant woman who loses her job early in her pregnancy is really damaged by the passage of time. There’s the loss of the job, the benefits and really the destruction of a family unit that may be occurring behind that loss of job,” she says.

Gabrielle shares her story in the latest documentary produced by the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents Gabrielle and thousands of other bargaining unit employees throughout EEOC. The documentary series is part of AFGE’s year-long campaign, “I Am AFGE,” to increase the public’s awareness and appreciation of the women and men who work for them every day.

“There is nothing more insulting to an employee or job applicant than being treated unfairly on the basis of factors that have nothing to do with their ability to do the job,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said. “The women and men who work for the EEOC are often the only advocates for these employees, and they are doing a remarkable job with limited resources and attention.”

AFGE Council 216 represents all professional and nonprofessional General Schedule employees at EEOC, including investigators, attorneys, paralegals, mediators, administrative judges, and support staff.

Gabrielle says EEOC relies on labor unions to help counsel employees who are facing discrimination and walk them through the process for filing discrimination complaints. In the federal sector, unions like AFGE file complaints on behalf of employees and represent them throughout the process.

Gabrielle recalls hearing stories from her mother about her grandfather meeting with coworkers late at night in an effort to form a union for black employees at the U.S. Postal Service in Chicago. The stories resonated with Gabrielle’s mother and with Gabrielle herself, who joined AFGE to advocate on behalf of government workers.

Gabrielle’s story is one of 15 short-form documentaries being released by AFGE every three weeks through the end of the year, highlighting individual federal employees who carry out important work across the country.

All of the videos are being posted online and distributed to hundreds of news outlets across the country. The campaign also is being promoted through social media, an employee photo contest and other events.

“For 50 years, EEOC employees have served a vital role in ensuring our workplaces are free of discrimination and open to everyone,” President Cox said. “They and all other government employees have dedicated their careers to serving the public. This campaign is our way of thanking them for their service and reminding Americans of the valuable work they do.”

Los Angeles TSA Officer Shares His Story in Debut “I Am AFGE” Documentary

AFGE member and LAX Officer Victor Payes recalls harrowing Nov. 1 shooting, threats to TSOs and flying public

WASHINGTON – An American Federation of Government Employees member who serves as a Transportation Security Officer at Los Angeles International Airport and witnessed the aftermath of the fatal Nov. 1 shooting there shares his story in the debut video for AFGE’s documentary series, “I Am AFGE.”

Victor Payes raced to the airport as soon as he heard the news that a gunman had opened fire at the airport, fatally shooting his coworker Gerardo Hernandez and wounding two other TSA officers and a civilian. Victor wasn’t scheduled to report to work for another three hours but he knew he had to be there to support his colleagues and serve his country.

“The shooting had happened at 9 a.m. By four o’clock we were back to business,” Victor says in the AFGE video, which is being released today.

The shooting was a stark reminder to Victor and his colleagues of the reason why TSA was created in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks: to protect the American public from harm. It also highlighted the threats that security officers face every day in doing their jobs.

“As time has gone on, unfortunately that threat has not just developed to the American public, it’s developed as a threat to us as well,” Victor says. “That serves as a reminder and a reinforcement to us that we’re there for more than just a paycheck. We’re there truly to provide a service to the public.”

A son of immigrants, Victor Payes takes pride in his job because it allows him to provide for his family while giving back to America.

“As an AFGE member, working at TSA, I know millions of people count on us to make sure they make it to their destination safely, and I’m proud to say that we do our job to make sure they get there safely,” he says.

Victor’s story is the first to be featured in AFGE’s year-long campaign to increase the public’s awareness and appreciation of the women and men who work for them each and every day. The centerpiece of the “I Am AFGE” campaign is 15 short-form documentaries that will be released every three weeks through the end of the year, highlighting individual federal employees like Payes who carry out important work across the country.

The campaign kicked off last week with the release of a two-minute video that highlights the invaluable services federal employees deliver and explains how federal employees have much in common with the citizens they are sworn to serve.

All of the videos will be posted online and distributed to hundreds of news outlets across the country. The campaign also will be promoted through social media, an employee photo contest and other events.

In addition, a special toll-free phone line has been established to record and share testimonials from federal employees or citizens who value the services that federal employees provide. The number to call is 1-844-IAM-AFGE (426-2343).

“AFGE is proud to represent the more than 45,000 TSA officers who protect our skies each and every day under demanding and sometimes dangerous circumstances,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said. “They and all other federal employees are the most dedicated workers you could ever have the fortune of meeting. This campaign is our way of shining a light on them and reminding the public why the work that they do matters.”

  • Subscribe to the NH Labor News via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 194 other subscribers

  • Advertisement

  • Advertisement