Stop the Furloughs, Pay Freezes, and Downgrades

IMPORTANT: This information should not be downloaded using government equipment, read during duty time or sent to others using government equipment, because it suggests action to be taken in support or against legislation. Do not use your government email address or government phone in contacting your Member of Congress.

Stop the Furloughs, Pay Freezes, and Downgrades

As all of you know our members are facing some huge challenges. Whether it’s our brothers and sisters who are about to be furloughed, or our brothers and sisters who are facing downgrades, or all of our members who are facing the third year of pay freeze, there is not one AFGE member who is not facing a threat to their wages or benefits. We know that with the stroke of a pen Congress could end sequestration; we know with the stroke of a pen they could end the pay freeze, and we know with real leadership they could end these needless attacks on federal workers.

But the only way Congress is going to change their policies is if they feel pressure and the only way can build pressure is for every AFGE member to be involved. On the page, you will find three activities you can do to help end these harmful policies.


We’ve set up three toll free numbers that will connect you directly to your Representative or both of your Senators simply by pushing a few buttons on your telephone. You’re going to have to make three calls, one for your Representative and one for each of your Senators. It should take you ten minutes at most and right now those ten minutes will go a long way to protecting your job, pay and pension.


The second thing you can do as an AFGE member is to meet with your lawmakers or their staff if you live close to a Congressional office.

Find out who is your Representative and if they have a local office near you ( Log on both of your Senators’ websites to find out if they have an local office in your community (

Here for a toolkit to help you set up, prepare for and conduct a meeting with any of your Congressional Representatives.

  • If you want to meet with your member of Congress on ending the furloughs, click here for talking points and a script to assist you in this meeting. (If you have already received your furlough notice take a copy of that notice with you along with copies of coworkers who are also getting furloughed. Lawmakers need to see what’s happening to their constituents.)
  • If you want to meet with your member of Congress on ending the pay freeze, click below for talking points and a script to assist you in this meeting.
  • If you want to meet with your member of Congress on stopping the VA downgrades, click below for talking points and a script to assist you in this meeting.


There’s one more thing we all need of you to do if we are going to win this fight and that’s to engage the community. We need to get family members, friends, local businesses and organizations to weigh in on what the impact of furloughs, downgrades and continued pay freezes will have on the local economy.

To help you jump start those conversations we’ve created “Federal Dollars.”

The idea is to go into a store, restaurant, or bar and start a conversation along the lines of, “I’ve been a customer for a long time, but with the furloughs and pay freezes, I will no longer be able to frequent your business, unless you’re willing to start taking these “Federal Dollars”.

These furloughs and pay freezes just don’t hurt me – they hurt you too. I’d appreciate it if you call our Senators – you can use the toll free number on the back of the bill – and tell them that the furloughs and pay freezes hurt people in our community”.

The idea is to use the Federal Dollar to jump start a conversation within the community about what the attacks against us are going to mean for everyone, not just us.

If we want to end the furloughs, end the pay freezes, end the downgrades, and protect our pensions than we have to continue to put pressure Congress to act. Please share this page with your fellow brothers and sisters.

Author: AFGE Local 704

Representing over 900 bargaining unit employees working at the U.S. EPA Region 5 Offices in Chicago, Ann Arbor, MI and Westlake, OH.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: