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Resolutions & Amendments

36th International Convention - Anaheim, CA (2004)

Protecting the Rights of Federal Employees

Resolution No. 47
36th International Convention
June 21 - 25, 2004
Anaheim, CA


The Department of Homeland Security’s recently proposed personnel regulations would effectively silence the collective voice of an experienced and dedicated workforce, eliminate regular pay increases, and severely limit employee appeals of adverse actions. These proposals follow the denial of collective bargaining rights to airport screeners employed by the Department of Transportation and precede similar proposals expected from the Department of Defense to cover their civilian employees; and


In its comments, AFSCME warned that the proposed system "silenced the collective voice of an experienced workforce." The National Treasury Employees Union, American Federation of Government Employees, and the National Association of Agriculture Employees, were "extremely disappointed" by the Department’s proposed personnel system and strongly recommended that it not be implemented until its "many serious defects . . . have been corrected;" and


Employees at the Federal Aviation Administration have worked without a contract for three years, even though they ratified their first contract in early 2001. AFSCME Council 26 has filed an unfair labor practice charge against the FAA over its refusal to implement the agreement; and


The House majority leader and the White House, despite a federal law barring career employees from working for a political campaign, recently assigned employees at the Treasury Department the task of calculating the potential costs of presidential candidate John Kerry’s tax plan; and


The chief analyst of Medicare costs at the Department of Health and Human Services was threatened with termination if he disclosed to Congress that he believed the prescription drug legislation favored by the White House would prove far more expensive than lawmakers had been told; and


Dozens of "temporary" workers at the Department of Justice, some of whom were told they were "de facto permanent" employees, and some of whom have worked at DOJ for over five years, may lose their jobs this year as the Department tries to save a few dollars by hiring new and less experienced workers; and


Together with union-busting that took place at the Justice Department in 2002, the aforementioned actions represent a wholesale assault on the federal workforce and public sector unions. More ominously, many of these proposals portend a return to the "spoils system" of government that civil service rules were created to avoid.


That AFSCME will closely monitor developments at the federal level and will work to ensure that these employees retain union representation rights and that personnel systems will be fair and equitable; and


That AFSCME will work with a broad-based coalition of organizations, including civil rights, advocacy and public administration organizations, to oppose attempts to politicize the public sector workforce.


Saul Schniderman, President and Delegate
AFSCME Council 26
Washington, DC