The recent election results have created uncertainty among federal workers. Many federal employees represented by the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), an organization I have the privilege of leading, have expressed apprehension about their futures. I am sure this is the case throughout the federal workforce.
With a new administration comes new agency leadership and federal employees are concerned about what will happen next.
Have you heard talk of a hiring freeze? How about talk of more proposals to deny you pay raises, increase your retirement contributions or downgrade your health insurance and pension?
Federal employees need strong unions that will continue to fight for you. Our role is to make sure the new leaders know that when our country faces serious challenges the federal workforce is called upon to find solutions and take action. We stress that our nation needs a federal workforce that is strong, well-trained, and given the tools and resources to be as effective as possible for America.
The president and the members of Congress determine future pay raises for the federal workforce. They decide if you have to pay more for your retirement benefits and if those benefits will be decreased. They set your agency’s budget, directly affecting staffing and workloads at your agency. Don’t let them make these decisions without hearing from you personally and as part of your union.
Federal employees must come together and stand up to ensure they have the tools and resources they need to provide taxpayers with the service and the protection they deserve. Our agencies and our workforce will need support from our country’s elected leaders to safeguard the public and fulfill their missions.
In times of such stark change, the best defense is a good offense. And the best offense for any federal employee is to join a union. Signing up for membership is a positive step you can take to protect your own future.
Tony Reardon is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here. Reardon is also National President of the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents 150,000 employees in 31 agencies.
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