AFGE member shares furlough story on “Inside Government”

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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.

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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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.

Listen Now! Reaction to Obama’s 2014 Budget Plan on “Inside Government”

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Listen Now!

Tune in now to AFGE’s “Inside Government” for reactions to President Obama’s fiscal 2014 budget proposal. The show, which originally aired on Friday, April 12, is now available on demand.

AFGE National Council of Social Security Administration Field Operations Locals President Witold Skwierczynski addressed the chained Consumer Price Index (CPI) and increase in federal employees’ pension contributions in the president’s budget proposal. Skwierczynski also discussed the status of unresolved articles – appraisals, merit promotions and telework – in the union’s contract agreement with SSA management.

National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare President and CEO Max Richtman continued the budget conversation, analyzing the chained CPI impact on Social Security benefits for seniors and veterans.

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 DENOUNCES SINGLING OUT OF BORDER PATROL FOR LARGEST SEQUESTRATION HIT

Union says DHS decision will have dire consequences for border security

J. David Cox Sr., national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, today issued the following statement on sequestration’s impact on border security:

“On Friday, March 1, hours after he signed the sequester order, President Obama tried to describe to the press the impact of sequester on federal employees, active duty military and their families. He referred to ‘Border Patrol agents in the hot sun getting a 10 percent pay cut…’

“Just as ‘the hot sun’ is hardly the biggest risk Border Patrol agents take while performing their duties, the 10 percent pay cut to which the president referred is only a small portion of the economic pain the Department of Homeland Security has in store for them. In fact, DHS has singled out Border Patrol agents to receive by far the largest financial penalty of any other group of federal workers. The plan DHS has chosen for Border Patrol agents will mean a 35 percent decline in their paychecks for the rest of the fiscal year and beyond.

“Border Patrol agents have been singled out to lose 75 percent more of their paychecks than even civilian Department of Defense workers who face 22 days without pay (for a 20 percent pay cut). Secretary Napolitano has announced that she intends not only to furlough Border Patrol agents for 14 days, but also to impose a total moratorium on routine overtime pay. Together these policies will reduce the paycheck of a typical Border Patrol agent by 35 percent. Even within their own agency, these cuts stand out for lopsidedness and severity. For example, officers who police the ports and provide customs enforcement will be furloughed 14 days but retain overtime; there is every reason to believe that they will make up wages lost to furlough with compensatory overtime so that cargo and passengers will continue to move through ports of entry. But with this anti-Border Patrol policy, illegal “cargo and passengers” will likely flow into the U.S. as well.

“Guarding the border is not a nine-to-five job. Overtime work is routine, and when they are hired, agents are informed that they will almost never work a regular eight-hour shift. Instead, they are expected to work at least 10 hours every day and often more because they do not stop when they are in pursuit of drug and gun smugglers and others engaging in criminal activity on the border. But with the sequester policy DHS has fashioned for Border Patrol, agents will be instructed to stop working at the moment their straight shift ends. Good news for criminals and others who would enter our country illegally; but very bad news for Americans who rely on the courage and devotion of Border Patrol agents who risk their lives every day to keep drugs and guns and gangs outside our borders.

“We urge Secretary Napolitano to rethink this terrible decision. It is wrong for border security, and it is wrong to single out Border Patrol agents for such drastic and undeserved economic pain. Border Patrol agents are law enforcement professionals, and this policy will undermine their ability to carry out their mission to guard the border and protect American citizens. Apart from the inequity in the size of the economic sacrifice being demanded of them, they do not want to let criminal gangs and smugglers go just because their shift has ended. The moratorium on overtime combined with 14 furlough days must be reconsidered.”

AFGE Public Policy Director Appears on Federal News Radio

AFGE Public Policy Director Jacque Simon recently appeared on Federal News Radio to discuss a proposed bill that would extend the pay freeze for federal employees. The bill was rejected by the Senate but is expected to return to the floor.

Listen to the radio interview here.

Click here to learn more about the radio show which originally aired on Jan. 3, 2013.

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