Got to Keep on Keeping On

NTEU Monday Minute for the Week of September 7, 2015: Got To Keep On Keeping On

Last weekend, the nation celebrated Labor Day. This is an important occasion for us to reflect on the many ways that the labor movement has changed the face of America. NTEU hopes that you stopped at some point during your long weekend, to pay tribute to the millions of dedicated men and women, many of them Federal Employees, who keep our country moving.

Today, the labor movement works harder than ever to not only maintain the benefits that have been gained in spite of great adversity, but also to continue that fight to secure better wages and benefits that you and all working families deserve.

“Top Stories” from the NTEU National website this week focuses on that ongoing struggle. NTEU is currently gearing up to lobby for agency funding. With Congress’ return form its summer recess, at the top of the agenda is government funding, since current funding runs out at the end of the month. NTEU is amping up the pressure on Congress to avoid a government shutdown and put in place adequate funding levels.

“The cuts we have seen to agency budgets are short-sighted and damaging to our country’s ability to protect and serve the public,” NTEU President Tony Reardon said.

NTEU will fight against irresponsible cuts as Congress continues its consideration of the budget. Now and in the coming days, the union will continue to stress the importance of providing NTEU-represented agencies with increased funding.

NTEU is also telling Congress to stop the attacks on federal workers and to oppose any further cuts in compensation and benefits, noting that: “some members of Congress look at the federal retirement program as a piggybank for the rest of government, the union is reminding them that real people’s lives are at stake—people who spent their professional lives serving their country and were promised a secure retirement income.”

NTEU, as a member of the Employee Thrift Advisory Council (ETAC), also sent a strong message to congressional leaders about the negative impact of using the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) to pay for other programs. “Employee confidence is shaken” when Congress considers changes opposed by the TSP fiduciaries, the letter states.

The mere suggestion of changing the rate of return for the G Fund, which is strongly opposed by the board that oversees the TSP, indicates that the TSP can be manipulated by Congress. In order for people to feel confident about investing in the TSP, Congress must declare the TSP off-limits as a source of revenue.

As we celebrate the gains made by the labor movement in the United States, let’s not forget that we must continue to raise our voices so that our representatives hear us loud and clear when we say that as Federal Employees we deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

If you have question or comments about this or want to know how you can become more involved at the National level or in the NRC, please send NTEU Chapter 208 an email at or stop by the Union office located across from Dawn’s Café at O 1 G22.

In Case You Missed It: On September 8th, the Commission held its first briefing on Project Aim 2020 focusing on the Rebaselining and Prioritization effort and the Strategic Workforce Plan. NTEU would like to remind you that as part of the Rebaselining effort, your input is being solicited through September 15, 2015, to allow consideration in the office and business line evaluations that will run from September 16 through November 17, 2015. You are asked to provide your ideas to your management, the , or to NTEU at .  You are asked to consider the Commission guidance referenced in the project background information (see ADAMS ML15226A072) when thinking about the necessity and priority of specific activities and methods of performing those activities. To be most useful, the information provided should be very specific, supported by sufficient detail to allow an understanding of the suggestion and the consequences of adopting it, and provide enough background to stand on its own without extensive research. At this point, the decision has been made not to provide feedback on the recommendations that are made because that would take time away from the initiative which your offices simply do not have.

Feedback is important though, and both management and NTEU realizes the importance of getting feedback on your recommendations. We therefore encourage you to seek feedback from your management about the recommendations you raise. If you are not successful in getting that feedback, please let NTEU know so that this can be addressed. Thank you.

Someone Said: “Never give up … for that’s just the place and time that the tide will turn.”

— Harriet Beecher Stowe, abolitionist and writer

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