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      2019 Legislative and Grassroots Mobilization Conference


      We are fighting against attacks on our pay, retirement, benefits and employee rights. This conference is our chance to come to Washington, D.C. and tell Congress about the important work we do for the American public. Let’s fight for our pay, benefits and rights. Come make your voice heard on Capitol Hill! Will you join us? 

      Here are the key details:

      • Where: Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20001.
      • When: Sunday, Feb. 10 through Wednesday, Feb. 13.
      • Congressional Visits: Capitol Hill and D.C. Council visits will occur on February 12 & February 13.
      • Set up your meetings with Members of Congress for February 12-13, and report them on this form.
      • Need help setting up your meetings? Click here to find a list of AFGE legislative and political organizers
      • Registration: Registration payments made by check must be received by January 25, 2019, to be eligible for the pre-registration rate.
      • Each attendees’ name should be written on the check.
      • The pre-registration rate is $300 per person and $80 to attend the Civil Rights Luncheon.
      • Hotel: The special hotel rate is $290 for single or double occupancy. Book Your Hotel Room Now by clicking on this link or by calling (877) 803-7534 and mention that you are attending the AFGE Legislative Conference!
      • Rooms are limited so make your reservations soon. The cutoff date for hotel reservations is Jan. 21, 2019.

      Event Details

      • Where

      • Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
        400 New Jersey Avenue Northwest
        DC, Washington 20001

      • When

      • Sunday, February 10, 2019 - Wednesday, February 13, 2019
        9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
        Pacific Time

      Government Reopened. We WON!

      Categories: Congress The Insider

      We did it!

      We bombarded Congress with calls and visits. We took to the streets for days on end. And we won!

      Congress and President Trump Jan. 25 reached an agreement to end the longest government shutdown in U.S. history and fund the government through Feb. 15. The Office of Management and Budget sent a memo to agency heads saying furloughed employees may now return to work.

      Our collective actions were covered extensively by the media, which created even more pressure to end the shutdown.

      The short-term continuing resolution, signed into law the night of Jan. 25, ends the 35-day shutdown without the wall funding President Trump sought.

      The deal allows federal employees forced to work without pay or locked out of work without pay to receive their paycheck as quickly as possible – most likely towards the end of the week of Jan. 28.

      Congress needs to pass full-year legislation

      While reopening the government is long overdue, we will not celebrate a temporary reprieve to a politically motivated crisis that has left you in anguish over how to pay your bills and feed your family.

      “Over the next three weeks, Congress must pass full-year appropriations for all government agencies as well legislation to make all affected federal employees whole,” said AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. “We are also urging Congress to act to prevent the use of shutdowns from ever occurring again.”

      We need you to continue to contact your member of congress and senators to keep up the pressure in the next three weeks to make sure that Congress delivers on a deal that will give government workers long-term security.

      Join our lawsuit

      Even though the government is now open, we’re urging you and all federal employees who have been working without pay during the 35-day government shutdown to join our shutdown lawsuit to be made whole from your loss of income.

      To join the lawsuit, visit www.2018governmentshutdown.com and provide the required information. You can also email any questions they have about the lawsuit to 2018governmentshutdown@kcnlaw.com.

      For all updates on the shutdown, visit www.afge.org/shutdown.

      The shutdown must never happen again

      Trump was forced to end the shutdown because we spoke up and kept the pressure on the administration and Congress. But it could happen again in three weeks. Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said Trump is willing to do it all over again.

      Don’t get mad. Join our movement and fight back!

      Our Union Rallied and Helped Stop the Shutdown

      Categories: The Insider

      AFGE and allies organized hundreds of furloughed employees for a protest at the Hart Senate Office Building Jan. 23 to speak out against the longest government shutdown and demand that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell immediately reopen the government. It was part of a pressure campaign of AFGE members and our allies across the nation that helped end the longest shutdown in U.S. history.

      “Occupy Hart” protesters were at the Hart building to draw attention to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s failure to do his job and end the shutdown that had created financial chaos for 800,000 federal employees and their families.

      As federal employees were poised to miss their second paycheck Jan. 25, McConnell, who had been AWOL since Trump took our government hostage, had failed to use the power that the Framers gave Congress to override a president’s veto if the president refuses their bills.

      At the Hart Building, we stood in silence for 33 minutes – one for each day of the shutdown which began Dec. 22 and dragged on to its fifth week Jan. 21.

      As we were not allowed to bring protest signs into the building, we wrote our messages on empty plates, symbolizing the hundreds of thousands of federal workers who were unable to buy groceries to feed their families because of the lapse in pay. Workers wrote messages like “Hostage,” “Will work for pay,” “Pay the workers,” “Do your job!” “Please let us work,” and “I love TSA. Pay them!”

      Furloughed workers explained to reporters how they couldn’t pay rent, mortgages, food, and other bills because of the shutdown. Some expressed disbelief that they were being held hostage for something that had nothing to do with their work.

      “I think we’re being used as pawns,” NASA employee Blake Lorenz told reporters. “What does me doing my job at NASA have to do with a wall?”

      Twelve union leaders and allies, including our very own AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. and Political Director Tucker McDonald, were arrested outside McConnell’s office as they refused to leave without meeting McConnell. “Where is Mitch?,” they chanted, highlighting the role he played as a co-conspirator in the shutdown.

      Protesters also visited several senators’ offices to pressure them to immediately open the government.

      See the Occupy Hart photos here.

      Feds still protesting across the country

      Besides the main “empty plates rally” at the Hart building, AFGE members and federal workers continued to rally in their hometown to call on the Trump administration and Congress to reopen the government. In Kentucky, furloughed workers and allies gathered at McConnell’s field office in Lexington with signs that read “Tell McConnell to Give Us a Vote!”

      Employees from the TSA, Department of Interior, Census Bureau, and Veterans Affairs participated in the protest, which was organized by AFGE.

      In St. Louis, Missouri, AFGE members and allies lined the sidewalk in front of the Federal Center to call for an end to the shutdown that has devastated their finances. “Stop the shutdown! We want to work!” they chanted.

      In Jacksonville, Florida, AFGE members and allies gathered downtown chanting “End the shutdown, call the vote!” Furloughed workers took turns telling their stories about how the shutdown has affected them and their families. In addition to AFGE, members from more than 10 unions participated, including teachers, electricians, and Teamsters.

      Correctional officers put pressure on McConnell in Kentucky 

      AFGE Council of Prison Locals, which represents over 33,000 federal correctional workers nationwide, took out a series of billboards in Kentucky highlighting the damaging effects the longest government shutdown in U.S. history had on law enforcement and holding Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky accountable for his role in the standoff.

      McConnell’s stronghold has five federal facilities in the state - two are United States Penitentiaries.

      “A federal prison is already a dangerous and stressful working environment,“ said AFGE Council of Prison Locals President Eric Young. “Now, our members are being required to work mandatory overtime without pay. They’re working 16-hour shifts, worrying about how they’ll be able to pay their rent or mortgage, put gas in the car, afford child care or keep the heat on. It’s a recipe for disaster in an environment where fatigue and distraction could cost you your life.”

      The billboards were placed at strategic points along major highways in Kentucky. They feature informational messages about the pain this shutdown is causing federal correctional workers and a call for Mitch McConnell to end the shutdown by bringing H.R. 21 to a vote on the floor of the Senate.

      Federal correctional workers – nearly a third of whom are military veterans – are among the government’s lowest paid law enforcement officers, bringing home $500 to $700 a week. Nearly all have been deemed essential and are working without pay – even as the prison inmates they supervise get paid for the jobs they do.

      Shutdown ends, for now

      The coordinated efforts of AFGE members and our allies in the labor movement and beyond helped bring this standoff to an end with a temporary funding measure that reopened the government through February 15.

      But Congress must act soon to make sure this doesn’t happen again in three weeks.

      “While reopening the government is long overdue, I will not celebrate a temporary reprieve to a politically motivated crisis that has left many federal employees in anguish over how to pay their bills, feed their families, and keep a roof over their heads,” said AFGE national president J. David Cox Sr.

      “Over the next three weeks, Congress must pass full-year appropriations for all government agencies as well legislation to make all affected federal employees whole. We are also urging Congress to act to prevent the use of shutdowns from ever occurring again.”

      It’s Not Too Late to Push for a Minimum 1.9% Raise!

      Categories: Pay Budget The Insider

      As Congress has until Feb. 15 to pass long-term government funding bills, it’s not too late for us to reach out to members of Congress to request a minimum 1.9% pay raise we deserve!

      We need you to continue to contact your member of congress and senators to keep up the pressure in the next three weeks to make sure that a minimum 1.9% increase is included in the final funding bill for the rest of 2019.

      Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Virginia) has also introduced a bill with Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) to provide pay parity and provide federal workers with a 2.6% increase, the same as the military increase.

      This increase would help address some of the late fees, penalties, loans, and interest fees that workers accrued during the 35-day government shutdown.

      Contact your member of congress and urge them to cosponsor the bill, H.R.790.

      “It will take months for federal employees to recover from the shutdown,” said AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. “The very least Congress should do to help is pass the 1.9 percent pay adjustment that is in the final government funding bill for the rest of 2019.”

      Our calls, visits, and protests resulted in Trump and Congress coming together to reopen the government. Let’s keep the pressure on so we get the raise we’ve earned!

      Democracy Wins as Court Strikes Down Trump’s Anti-Worker Executive Order 

      Categories: Executive Orders 

      AFGE applauds ruling that administration illegally gutted workers’ rights, violated labor contracts

      WASHINGTON – In a landmark decision, a federal judge has ruled that President Trump violated the U.S. Constitution and laws providing checks and balances in the federal government by attempting to deny more than 2 million federal workers their legal right to representation.

      Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled late friday that the Trump administration’s May 25 executive order on official time violated the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the separation of powers as established in law. 

      The American Federation of Government Employees, which was the first union to challenge President Trump’s executive orders in court, applauded the judge’s ruling.

      “President Trump’s illegal action was a direct assault on the legal rights and protections that Congress specifically guaranteed to the public-sector employees across this country who keep our federal government running every single day,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said.

      “We are heartened by the judge’s ruling and by the huge outpouring of support shown to federal workers by lawmakers from both parties, fellow union workers, and compassionate citizens across the country,” Cox said. “Our members go to work every single day to serve the American people, and they deserve all the rights and protections afforded to them by our founding fathers.”

      AFGE, the largest union representing federal government employees, filed two lawsuits challenging President Trump’s executive orders. The first lawsuit challenged the executive order on official time as a violation of the right to freedom of association guaranteed by the First Amendment, and as exceeding the president’s authority. The second lawsuit charged that the remaining two orders exceed the president’s authority under the U.S. Constitution by violating the separation of powers and exceeding current law.

      The impact of these executive orders began being felt months before they were even issued, as the Department of Education in March threw out the contract covering 3,900 federal employees represented by AFGE and implemented its own illegal management edict that strips workers of their union rights, a precursor to what was to come weeks later when President Trump issued the three union-busting, anti-federal worker executive orders. Since the executive orders were signed May 25, other agencies including the Social Security Administration and Department of Veterans Affairs have issued similar edicts in an attempt to eradicate unions from the federal workplace and deny workers their legal right to representation.

      “Now that the judge has issued her decision, I urge all agencies that have attempted to enforce this illegal executive order to restore all previously negotiated contracts and to bargain in good faith with employee representatives on any future changes as required under the law,” Cox said.


      AFGE-backed Bill Guaranteeing Back Pay for Federal Employees Signed into Law

      Categories: The Insider

      On Jan. 16, AFGE-supported legislation was signed into law that would provide back pay for federal employees forced to work without pay or locked out of their jobs without pay during the shutdown.

      Our union thanks all the senators who supported this bill. Our members deserve to be paid for the time they’ve been locked out of their jobs through no fault of their own.

      The bill also applies to employees of the D.C. government, D.C. Courts, and D.C. Public Defenders Service affected by the shutdown. In addition, it clarifies that excepted employees who have previously approved leave during the shutdown may take that leave without penalty.

      While the guarantee of back pay is certainly good news, it does little to help our members who are struggling to make ends meet during the longest government shutdown in U.S. history – a shutdown that President Trump has said could last for “months or even years.”

      It's absolutely critical for our members that Senate Republicans vote to reopen the government immediately. Unfortunately, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to bring the House-passed bills that would reopen the government to the floor for a vote, personally blocking it three times this year.

      “While signing of this bill guaranteeing back pay for our members and other impacted federal employees is a welcomed development, employees are still left to wonder when they will be paid and when they will be able to go back to work,” AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. said. “Our government should be fully funded and able to provide the American public with quality services.”

      AFGE Files Next Wave of Legal Action Challenging Trump Executive Orders

      WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) has filed a second lawsuit challenging two executive orders issued by President Trump that would curtail the rights of federal workers. “These executive orders are clearly at odds with what Congress has mandated by law,” said AFGE General Counsel David Borer. “These directives from the White House display a shocking lack of respect for the Constitution and represent a serious overreach of the president’s executive powers.”

      AFGE president: Future of labor movement hinges on organizing

      WASHINGTON – Following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn 40 years of constitutional law that ensured public-sector workers benefited from the collective voice of union representation, the head of the largest union representing federal workers says employees will need to come together to preserve their workplace rights. “On May 25, President Trump issued a series of executive orders targeting federal employees’ collective bargaining and due process rights. And now the Supreme Court has issued a decision that jeopardizes union rights and protections for millions of public-sector workers at the state and local levels, and here in the District of Columbia,” said J. David Cox Sr., national president of the American Federation of Government Employees.

      Major Win for AFGE. EO Opposition Grows: Senators Release Another Letter Blasting Attacks

      Major Win for AFGE. EO Opposition Grows: Senators Release Another Letter Blasting Attacks June 25, 2018 8 Categories: Congress , The Insider , Executive Orders More members of Congress are speaking out against the White House’s attempts to undermine the U.S. Constitution and laws providing checks and balances in the federal government.

      AFGE supports reviving federal labor-management partnerships

      New law would revive panels disbanded by President Trump WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees fully supports legislation introduced in the House and Senate that would establish in law a national council overseeing labor-management relations in federal agencies.

      11 Facts About Family and Medical Leave You May Not Know

      Twenty-five years ago on Feb. 5, 1993, President Bill Clinton signed into law one of the most important pieces of legislation for working families – the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

      Download: gs-may-june-web-version-2018.pdf
      Union opposes cuts to Federal Retirement Benefits Union opposes cuts to Federal Employee Retirement Benefits (both FERS and CSRS) as proposed under the President's FY 2018 Budget.
      Download: union opposes cuts.pdf

      When working people come together, they make things better for everyone. Joining together in unions enables workers to negotiate for higher wages and benefits and improve conditions in the workplace. There are millions of union members in America from all walks of life. These individuals know that by speaking up together, you can accomplish more than you could on your own.

      Building Power for Working People

      A union is you and your co-workers coming together as a team to make improvements at your workplace.

      Union members work together to negotiate and enforce a contract with management that guarantees the things you care about like decent raises, affordable health care, safer workplaces, job security and a stable schedule.

      There is a union for every type of career. There are unions for NFL players, lobstermen and sitcom actors, and many other professions. No matter what profession you are in, you deserve to make ends meet, have a good life and plan for the future.

      Advocate for Social and Economic Justice

      The gains working people make at the bargaining table are strengthened by good laws that protect against exploitation. Corporations use laws to increase their profits by weakening working people’s rights and safety. The legacy of strong unions has led to weekends, overtime pay and the end of child labor. That’s why union members continue to raise their voices to be heard from the worksite to the White House.

      We are a watchdog for working people. 

      Voice of the People

      Unions give a unified voice for all working people by advocating for legislation and regulations that keep us safer, healthier, and enjoying a higher quality of life. Many union members are politically engaged. We advocate for the public servants who will best serve the interests of working people at all levels of government. Together, we are re-writing the rules of the economy, so they benefit the 99% instead of the wealthy few.

      We also advocate for an expansion of voting rights. We need to make participatory democracy easier and stop the racist laws that keep all people from accessing their right to vote.

      When we fight, we win

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