AFGE Granted First Ever Department of Justice Sexual Harassment Class Action Suit

Bureau of Prisons Local 506 was successfully granted the first ever class action sexual harassment case at the Department of Justice. More than 360 women at the Coleman Federal Prison in Florida were subjected to daily harassment by male prisoners at the facility and management failed to take action. This is a huge victory for not only AFGE but for the entire labor movement.

Source: http://www.wftv.com/videos/news/alleged-cover-ups-at-prison/v3qgs/

Click here to read more about the case from The Miami Herald.

AFGE member shares furlough story on “Inside Government”

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Listen Now! 

Tune in now to AFGE’s “Inside Government” as a union member speaks out on the impact of being furloughed. The show, which originally aired on Friday, May 24, is now available on demand.

AFGE Environmental Protection Agency Local 704 member Elizabeth Lytle, a cancer survivor and disabled veteran, described her experiences as a federal employee going through sequestration, including the financial and emotional toll of mandatory furloughs.

But first, Maryland Citizens Health Initiative President Vincent DeMarco discussed the latest on Maryland’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act and benefits set to take effect in 2014.

Lastly, Bill Fletcher Jr., author of “They’re Bankrupting Us!: And 20 Other Myths about Unions,” dispelled myths about unions and the labor movement.

Listen LIVE on Fridays at 10 a.m. on 1500 AM WFED in the D.C. area or online at FederalNewsRadio.com.

For more information, please visit InsideGovernmentRadio.com.

Help Promote USDA’s Summer Free Lunch Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides free or reduced price lunches to 22 million children during the school year through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). In the summer, the program reimburses organizations that serve children meals at feeding sites. Churches, schools, camps, recreation centers, playgrounds, and parks in neighborhoods with high percentages of low income families can provide summer meals to children.

USDA wants AFGE’s help in spreading the word about NSLP throughout your communities. The goal is to help make a positive impact on the lives of underprivileged children by promoting participation in the Summer Meals program and making the community aware of its benefits.

To learn more about USDA’s Summer Food Service Program and how you can help publicize it to your community, please visit http://www.afge.org/index.cfm?contentID=3304.

Have You Been Affected by Furloughs? We Want to Hear From You!

More than 700,000 federal government employees will experience up to a 20 percent pay cut due to forced furloughs. Are you an AFGE member affected by furloughs?  We want to hear from you about how furloughs are affecting your family, your life, and your community. Please click here to share your story with us and have your voices heard. If you would like to submit a photo with you entry please email it to afgecommsquad@gmail.com.

Please be sure to include your name, location, the federal agency you work for and your AFGE local number. So many of our members have shared their experiences and we want to hear from YOU!

Listen now! MSNBC’s Chris Hayes discusses workplace safety on “Inside Government”

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Listen Now!

 Tune in now to AFGE’s “Inside Government” for a discussion on workplace safety. The show, which originally aired on Friday, April 26, is now available on demand.

Chris Hayes, host of MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes,” looked back on the Boston Marathon bombings and Texas fertilizer plant explosion to highlight the value of public employees and workplace safety.

GovLoop Community Engagement Director Andrew Krzmarzick then provided tips for furloughed federal employees facing a work backlog and highlighted the benefits of government agencies using social media.

Greg Brooks, president of AFGE’s Federal Aviation Administration Local 2282, discussed the latest developments on furloughs at the FAA. Brooks also addressed the short- and long-term consequences of sequestration, including the impact on national security.

AFGE Small Business Administration Council 228 President Elaine Powell-Belnavis then discussed the union’s labor contract agreement with SBA, which covers 2,000 federal employees and provides a range of benefits from an updated awards program to an expedited arbitration process.

Listen LIVE on Fridays at 10 a.m. on 1500 AM WFED in the D.C. area or online at FederalNewsRadio.com.

For more information, please visit InsideGovernmentRadio.com.

Listen Now! Proposed Changes to Federal Employee Pensions, Health Benefits Analyzed on “Inside Government”

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Listen Now!

Tune in now to AFGE’s “Inside Government” for analysis of proposed changes to federal employees’ pension plans and health benefits. The show, which originally aired on Friday, April 19, is now available on demand.

Bob Weiner, former Clinton White House spokesman, lauded the work of federal employees in the face of budget cuts, pay freezes and furloughs. Weiner also detailed sequestration’s harmful effects on cancer research.

AFGE Small Business Administration Council 228 President Elaine Powell-Belnavis then discussed the union’s labor contract agreement with SBA, which covers 2,000 federal employees and provides a range of benefits from an updated awards program to an expedited arbitration process.

Common Cause President and CEO and former Rep. Bob Edgar of Pennsylvania addressed the chained Consumer Price Index (CPI) and increase in federal employees’ pension contributions in President Obama’s budget proposal.

Lastly, AFGE Public Policy Director Jacque Simon detailed proposed changes to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

Listen LIVE on Fridays at 10 a.m. on 1500 AM WFED in the D.C. area or online at FederalNewsRadio.com.

For more information, please visit InsideGovernmentRadio.com.

AFGE TSA Council 100 Opposes Changes to the Prohibited Items List (PIL) Scheduled to Become Effective April 25, 2013

American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. issued the following statement regarding a change in the Transportation Security Administration’s Prohibited Items List.

“Any knife, regardless of blade size, can be used as a weapon. TSA has created a situation where TSOs will be required to discern the length and width of a knife blade in a very short period of time. Disagreements over the TSOs’ determination as to whether the knife will be allowed through checkpoints may result in a confrontation. Far too often, TSOs are threatened and even assaulted by irate passengers at the checkpoint; this ambiguous new policy will only escalate those incidents. In addition, TSOs face possible discipline from an increasing number of checkpoint disputes surrounding the new policy.

“AFGE TSA Council 100 also opposes the changes in PIL allowing small, toy or “novelty” bats to pass through checkpoints. TSOs have been assaulted and injured at checkpoints by items smaller than a 24” bat.

“Although duly-elected as the exclusive representative of more than 40,000 TSOs nationwide, AFGE  TSA Council 100 was not included in the committee TSA established to “review the Agency’s Prohibited Items List.” The policy was changed without any input from the employees responsible for implementing the changes at checkpoints at airports across the country. If representatives of AFGE had been included in the committee, TSA would have heard firsthand the risks to both TSA employees and the flying public.

“AFGE TSA Council 100 joins the Flight Attendants Union Coalition, the Coalition of Airline Pilot Associations and the Federal Law Enforcement Officer Association in opposing the change in policy and urges TSA to meet with the union as the agency reconsiders its decision.

“AFGE encourages those who share our concerns about the new policy to go to www.noknivesonplanes.com and sign the petition asking the White House to rescind the new policy.”

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