Workforce Wonk

By Alyah Khan

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Union launches campaign in defense of feds

Several proposals aimed at reducing the nation’s deficit have taken aim at the size and salaries of the federal workforce, and now federal employees are taking a formal stand against what they call “harmful attacks.”

The National Treasury Employees Union launched a public service campaign July 21 to highlight the services feds carry out each day.

“From guarding our borders to safeguarding the food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink, to administering the school lunch program so children do not go hungry, federal employees perform so many critical tasks for our nation each and every day,” said Colleen Kelley, NTEU president. “And all too often, we take this dedicated and effective service for granted.”

The union’s campaign will include a set of radio and television public service announcements, media events, grassroots efforts by local chapters and social media activities. A new website created by NTEU – www.TheyWorkForUs.org – has further information on the campaign.

Kelly said that political discourse often casts feds in an “unfavorable light,” noting the push by some members of Congress to cut the federal workforce.

Debate over the debt ceiling has been feds’ most recent cause for concern.

Earlier this week, a coalition of more than 20 federal employee and management pressed senior administration officials for answers on how the federal workforce would be affected if Congress fails to raise the nation’s debt limit by Aug. 2 deadline.

Some experts have suggested that if Congress can’t reach an agreement on the debt ceiling by the start of next month, federal employees might face furloughs or holds on their salaries. (See related FCW story.)

Posted by Alyah Khan on Jul 22, 2011 at 12:20 PM


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