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    • Welcome

      AFGE’s Push Leads to 12 Weeks of Paid Parental Leave for Federal Employees

      December 09, 2019

      Thanks to AFGE’s persistence, federal employees who are new parents are one step closer to receiving an important work/life benefit they have been waiting for years: 12 weeks of paid leave to take care of a new child.

      The government-wide paid parental leave provision, which is included in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), would provide federal employees with up to 12 weeks of paid leave for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child. This is the same benefit service members have received since 2016 under a separate military policy.

      “AFGE has been fighting to provide all federal workers with paid family leave for decades, and the provision in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act is a large step in the right direction for full family leave. The hard work by our members is finally beginning to pay off,” said National Secretary-Treasurer Everett Kelley. “This new paid benefit will help federal employees better balance their work and home lives, and it will give agencies a needed advantage when recruiting and retaining workers to carry out critical missions on behalf of our country.”

      “The United States is the only industrialized nation that does not offer its citizens some level of paid parental leave. This agreement is a watershed moment that sets the stage for achieving the ultimate goal of providing all American workers with paid family leave,” he added.

      AFGE thanks Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Representative Carolyn Maloney of New York for their leadership and tireless efforts to reach consensus on this important issue.

      The NDAA will likely get a vote on the House floor this week. Under the bipartisan compromise, employees will only be able to use the paid leave for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child instead of the full range of FMLA covered issues.

      The United States is the only developed country that does not offer nationwide paid parental leave. In Germany, all new mothers receive 43 weeks of paid parental leave. New Swedish moms receive 35 weeks of paid leave. Norwegian mothers are entitled to 45 weeks of paid leave.

      In the U.S., more and more private-sector companies are picking up the slack. Twenty nine percent of private-sector employers in the U.S. choose to provide paid parental leave to their employees, up from 21% in 2016. Federal employees do not currently have paid parental leave. No federal employee should have to choose between a paycheck and meeting their family obligations because they currently have no paid parental leave. This provision will go a long way to attracting and keeping the workforce necessary to carry out its mission by providing benefits on par with other large employers, including federal contractors. The benefits to children and families of this provision are enormous and long-lasting.

      Protect SSA Employees and Protect Your Social Security Benefits

      August 05, 2019

      Eighty-four years ago, on Aug. 14, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Social Security Act as a safeguard "against the hazards and vicissitudes of life." This historic law created what would become the life line for many Americans and one of the most popular social insurance programs in the country.

      Social Security, administered by the Social Security Administration, helps ensure our economic security as we age, become disabled, or lose the family breadwinner through payroll taxes paid by us and our employers. The program ensures that after a lifetime of work, we can retire with dignity.

      All of us are grateful we have this kind of social insurance program – Social Security keeps 22 million Americans out of poverty. We are better off today because generations before us demanded that our government do something to save us from poverty when we get old or tragedy strikes.

      Trump administration is cutting SSA benefits through office closures, staffing cuts

      Considering the widening wealth gap and stagnant wages of the past several decades, Social Security is more important now than ever. As Americans, it’s our duty to protect this important program for ourselves, our children, and grandchildren.

      Our union is proud to represent SSA employees who play a key role in helping American seniors retire with dignity and face family crises. But the Trump administration has found a back-door way to cut Social Security benefits to free up money for tax cuts that mainly benefit the wealthy.

      Besides closing SSA offices and directing seniors and families to go online, the administration is making it more difficult for SSA employees to do their jobs. The latest action involves using a panel of union-busting appointees to impose anti-worker provisions on employees during contract negotiations with our union. They’re hoping that attacking employees would force them to leave, so the government gets smaller and provides fewer Social Security benefits to the American people.

      “The move is clearly part of a government-wide effort to attack any rightful dissent from federal workers and our union,” said AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. “It is also a backdoor way to get rid of workers, and thus the services they provide to the American people.”

      The Trump administration is now seeking to quickly implement its governmentwide anti-worker executive orders, which are an effort to purge unions and drive out federal employees who provide crucial services like Social Security to the American people.

      Our union and allies have been the only thing that stands between the Trump administration and its goal of wiping out workers’ rights.

      Learn more about our fight against the dismantling of our union rights and voices at workhere.

      AFGE Executive Board Condemns President’s Racist Tweets

      July 29, 2019

      AFGE’s National Executive Council passed a resolution condemning President Trump’s racist tweets against members of Congress and calling on the president to disavow the attacks.

      The unanimous vote by the 15-member board follows a series of messages President Trump tweeted on July 14 calling on four members of Congress, all women of color, to leave the United States and “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

      Three of the four representatives – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts – were born in the United States, while Ilhan Omar of Minnesota is a refugee from Somalia who became a U.S. citizen in 2000.

      The tweets prompted the president’s supporters to chant “send her back,” referencing Rep. Omar, at a July 17 rally held by the president – chants that Trump briefly disavowed before reversing course and claiming that those chanting were “incredible patriots.”

      “The AFGE National Executive Council condemns in the harshest terms these racist attacks by President Trump and reaffirms AFGE’s commitment to a workplace and nation free from racial discrimination, where every individual’s civil rights are protected equally under the law and no one – whether that person be an hourly worker or a member of Congress – is subjected to harassment because of their race or nation of origin,” the resolution reads in part .

      “The AFGE National Executive Council calls on President Trump to disavow these racist attacks, to cease defending them personally and through surrogates, to end the racist chants of ‘send her back’ at his political rallies, and to embrace and promote a vision of America compatible with American values of diversity and inclusion,” the resolution concludes.

      The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) cites the phrase “go back to where you came from” and other similar remarks, whether uttered by co-workers or supervisors, as a classic form of workplace discrimination and harassment that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

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