Chicago Federation of Labor – Sign the Petition


Sometimes, lawmakers on Capitol Hill will write open letters to their colleagues to make sure everyone knows their opinion on an issue. They’re called “Dear Colleague” letters.

There’s been enough ink spilled on the possible government shutdown to go to the moon and back, but here’s the short version: Republicans in the House just forced the government to shut down because they can’t win any of the crazy things they want the American way, fair and square.

Now they’ve turned to hostage taking, and working people—the folks who need the government to work—are the hostages. Sometimes the members of the House of Representatives take a while to get a message. So we’ll break it down for them in a way they’ll understand:

Dear House Republicans:

Get a grip.

Stop the hostage taking. Don’t shut down our country.

Regards,
America’s Working People

Snark aside, this is serious. We all depend on the federal government and the people who work for us there to do critical things—from protecting our rights on the job to food safety inspections to medical research to air traffic control. If the House GOP continues to hold us hostage, they’ll do real damage to us and to our country.

We have urgent problems our nation’s leaders need to address—and the first one is that we need more jobs. A government lockout is the single worst thing politicians can do for jobs. At the very least, we should expect that Congress will stop making our economic problems worse. If you’re as angry about this as we are, we need you to take action right now.

Our country is shut down, and we need you to sign this petition we’ll deliver ASAP to Congress:

go.aflcio.org/we-are-locked-out

In Solidarity,

The Chicago Federation of Labor

 

Obama’s Message to Feds: ‘None of This Is Fair to You’

Obama’s Message to Feds: ‘None of This Is Fair to You’

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

As agencies scrambled to implement their shutdown procedures Tuesday, President Obama greeted the nation’s 2 million civilian federal employees and 1.4 million active-duty military members with a letter, in which he took “a moment to tell you what you mean to me — and to our country.”

Obama noted the employees’ varying roles in providing national and economic security, mentioning guarding borders, enforcing civil rights, helping expand small businesses and exporters, and those “who guide hundreds of people each day through the glory of America’s national parks and monuments.” Continue reading “Obama’s Message to Feds: ‘None of This Is Fair to You’”

Agencies notifying employees of shutdown effects

Agencies notifying employees of shutdown effects

Sep. 26, 2013 – 06:00AM   |  By SEAN REILLY and NICOLE BLAKE JOHNSON   |
With a partial government shutdown five days away, at least some agencies are telling employees Thursday how they would be affected, according to officials and other sources.

With a partial government shutdown five days away, at least some agencies are telling employees Thursday how they would be affected, according to officials and other sources. (Mandel Ngan / AFP)

With a partial government shutdown five days away, at least some agencies are telling employees Thursday how they would be affected, according to officials and other sources.

At the Defense Department, the government’s largest civilian employer, supervisors are informally letting workers know whether they will be furloughed during a shutdown, spokesman Navy Cmdr. Bill Urban said. DoD Comptroller Robert Hale is set to discuss a shutdown’s potential impact at a news briefing Friday afternoon, he said.

At the Transportation Department, managers were also notifying employees Thursday of their status if operations are curtailed for lack of funding, according to an email from Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx obtained by Federal Times. Continue reading “Agencies notifying employees of shutdown effects”

Congressional Staff Leave Their Jobs Because of Low Pay

Congressional Staff Leave Their Jobs Because of Low Pay

Mustafa Dogan/Shutterstock.com

Inadequate pay is the main reason congressional staff flee their jobs, according to a new report.

Forty-five percent of respondents to the third “Life in Congress” study said a desire to earn more money significantly influenced their decision to leave Congress, while 51 percent of staffers cited low pay as the top reason they left their current job or office. Fifty-eight percent of respondents earned an annual salary between $30,000 and $59,000, and the majority of participants worked outside of Washington. Continue reading “Congressional Staff Leave Their Jobs Because of Low Pay”

Are Pentagon Civilians Really Behind the Pentagon’s Money Woes?

Are Pentagon Civilians Really Behind the Pentagon’s Money Woes?

By June 04, 2013On Monday, 25 defense analysts from several think tanks announced that they agree on three areas in U.S. military spending where money can be saved: closing down unnecessary military bases and facilities, reforming military compensation, and shrinking the number of Department of Defense civilian employees.

Justifying the last point, the analysts wrote to the Pentagon‘s civilian leaders and lawmakers on Capitol Hill that:

From 2001 to 2012, the active duty military grew by just 3.4 percent. Yet over the same timeframe the number of civilian defense employees grew by 17 percent, an increase five times greater than the armed forces.

Sounds bad, right? Sounds like the Defense Department’s civilian workforce is out of control? Wrong.

The problem with the analysts’ letter is the baseline they use. They picked the period when the Pentagon’s civilian workforce was the smallest it has been since at least 1981. The number of Pentagon civilians hovered around 1.1 million throughout the 1980s.

During the 1990s, the Defense Department’s civilian workforce shrunk from 1 million in 1990 to 649,000 in 2002, according to White House data. Those 350,000 civilians represented the bulk of federal civilian jobs lost during the 1990s, thanks largely to the Federal Workforce Restructuring Act of 1994, but also to reduced Pentagon expenditures as the Cold War drew to a close. Continue reading “Are Pentagon Civilians Really Behind the Pentagon’s Money Woes?”