You have heard the warnings, seen the headlines, heard from the lawmakers in their campaigns and witnessed the proposals and bills in the last session of Congress. We are operating in a new environment and for federal employees it is likely to be very treacherous terrain. We are facing a Congress with large numbers of members who do not support the federal workforce or respect the work you do. There is a new administration with new department heads who face large learning curves and, in some cases, carry into their new roles a hostility toward the work of the agencies they now lead. If it sounds scary, t hat’s because it is. There are a lot of unknowns ahead. Will your pay become a target? Will your retirement benefits be watered down? Will you lose longstanding due process rights and workplace protections? Will you lose your job? That is where NTEU comes in!
As an individual federal employee, there is little you can do on your own to influence events. But with NTEU you join a powerful force that brings together employees from across the government. Tens of thousands of federal employees joining together can help shape the future. To be successful in creating a future that protects and respects federal employees and allows you to get the job done we need every employee standing with us. This is not the time to stay silent and let others take action. This is the time to stand up for yourself and for the work you do. It is time to do it as part of NTEU. Thank you for being a member of the union. By joining you have already made a contribution to our success.
Today, I am asking that you do even more. I need your help in mobilizing your coworkers who have not joined the union to do so now. Talk with them about what we are facing. Explain the power of collective action. Share with them the tools and resources NTEU has to reach out and talk with their elected representatives. Give them a copy of our legislative agenda that outlines our for the year. Congress controls so much of what might happen this year and every member of Congress needs to hear from every federal employee about how their actions and votes impact you as an individual and the ability of your agency to do the job the American people expect it to do.. We are fighting for you, as a federal employee.
For your pay and benefits, for your ability to support your family, for fair work-place policies and the future you thought you had when you joined public service. But we are also fighting for more. The merit-based nonpartisan civil service that is a model for countries around the world may be at stake. Your ability to follow the science, adapt best practices, serve the American people and help your agencies succeed is at risk. Many of you joined the federal government to do important work, tackle complex problems and find innovative solutions that keep the future his country strong. The work you do cannot be done in the private sector, it is not weighed by a balance sheet and American citizens rely on it—even if many of them don’t realize it.
I am asking you today to not let that work be taken from you and our country. Make 2017 a year of action. Stand up and be proud of what you do, take legislative action, bring others on board and fight for your future and that of our country.