AFGE backs Connolly’s anticipated pay raise bill

17. February, 2016|president's briefing|No comments

(February 17, 2016)

 

In order to further improve the lines of communication and to respond to the concerns between the National VA Council and you our members, I have established a National VA Council Briefing. This NVAC Briefing will bring you the latest news and developments within DVA and provide you with the current status of issues this Council is currently addressing. I believe that this NVAC Briefing will greatly enhance the way in which we communicate and the way in which we share new information, keeping you better informed.

 

Alma L. Lee

National VA Council, President

 

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In This Briefing: AFGE backs Connolly’s anticipated pay raise bill

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AFGE president J. David Cox, speaking at a Feb. 9 rally on Capitol Hill, has been advocating for a 5.3 percent pay raise for federal employees in 2017.

  1. David Cox has had one number on his mind this week: 5.3 percent.

It’s the pay raise that the American Federation of Government Employees president has been advocating for federal workers receive for 2017, instead of the 1.6 percent bump suggested in the president’s budget.

FEDERAL TIMES

5 takeaways from the AFGE’s legislative conference

The union said in a Feb. 12 release that Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., would tack the 5.3 percent raise into the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates Act, a bill the congressman’s office said he plans to introduce next week.

Cox said, in a statement, AFGE backed the pending legislation and federal employees deserved the raise to make up for tepid wage growth over the past six years.

“It’s time to raise wages for all working families in this country, and the federal government should serve as the model for all other employers to follow,” he said.

Connolly introduced a previous version of the FAIR Act that included a 3.8 percent raise for federal employees in January 2015.

Cox, who spoke with Federal Times about the need for the 5.3 percent raise this week, said the legislation would help federal employees recover some of the wage growth that had been lacking since The Great Recession and sequestration took hold of the budget.

 

FEDERAL TIMES

What does the government need to encourage new talent? More money for one.

“As a result of six years of low to no pay raises, the purchasing power of federal paychecks has declined substantially,” he said. “The women and men who keep this country running deserve a standard of living that keeps up with inflation and rising wages, which is why this catch-up contribution is long overdue. Congress must pass this legislation.”

Zika: What You Need to Know

8. February, 2016|president's briefing|No comments

(February 8, 2016)

 

In order to further improve the lines of communication and to respond to the concerns between the National VA Council and you our members, I have established a National VA Council Briefing. This NVAC Briefing will bring you the latest news and developments within DVA and provide you with the current status of issues this Council is currently addressing. I believe that this NVAC Briefing will greatly enhance the way in which we communicate and the way in which we share new information, keeping you better informed.

 

Alma L. Lee

National VA Council, President

 

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In This Briefing: Zika: What You Need to Know

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Zika: The Unexpected Pandemic.The world remains unprepared as novel pathogens just keep coming.

 

 

Zika: The Unexpected Pandemic

The world remains unprepared as novel pathogens just keep coming.

from: MedPage Today

Brazil: Reported Microcephaly Numbers Rising The cases are on the rise, but among those investigated, 60% have been ruled out.

from: MedPage Today

10 Essential Facts About the Zika Virus The mosquito-borne virus has landed in the United States. Here are the facts.

from: Everyday Health

Pregnancy & Zika: What the CDC’s Guidelines Mean for You Get answers to your biggest questions about the virus and the CDC’s latest recommendations.

from: What to Expect 

Unions blast proposed 2017 fed pay raise

5. February, 2016|president's briefing|No comments

(February 5, 2016)

 

 

In order to further improve the lines of communication and to respond to the concerns between the National VA Council and you our members, I have established a National VA Council Briefing. This NVAC Briefing will bring you the latest news and developments within DVA and provide you with the current status of issues this Council is currently addressing. I believe that this NVAC Briefing will greatly enhance the way in which we communicate and the way in which we share new information, keeping you better informed.

 

Alma L. Lee

National VA Council, President

 

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In This Briefing: Unions blast proposed 2017 fed pay raise

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Federal employee unions are already feeling underwhelmed by the 2017 federal budget.

 

In anticipation of a 1.6 proposed pay raise for federal employees expected with the Feb. 9 budget, presidents from the National Treasury Employees Union and the American Federation of Government Employees came out blasting a pay bump they deemed meager.

 

“A 1.6 pay raise won’t significantly narrow the growing gap between private-sector and federal pay or help middle-class federal employees adequately cope with rising costs,” said NTEU president Tony Reardon, in a statement.

“Without a fair pay increase, the federal-private pay gap will continue to grow and federal agencies will find it harder and harder to recruit and retain talented workers. Federal employees have contributed billions of dollars to deficit reduction. It is time to recognize the value these employees bring to our country.”

 

AFGE president J. David Cox also echoed displeasure with the proposed raise, which The Washington Post reported was announced in a Feb. 3 conference call with administration and union officials.

 

“For six consecutive years, federal employees received no locality increases to their pay, and for three of those years they received no pay raise at all,” he said in a statement. “Since 2010, the inflation-adjusted value of federal wages and salaries has fallen by 6.5 percent, leaving all federal employees with a lower standard of living than they had at the start of the decade.”

 

The raise edges federal employees 0.3 percent above the 2016 mark, which was confirmed in December with the budget deal, but the unions say that federal employees are lagging behind their private sector counterparts when it comes to wages, following 1 percent raises in 2014 and 2015.

FEDERAL TIMES

Unions back locality pay raise

 

“We believe federal employees deserve a meaningful pay raise next year to help make up for years of neglect by elected officials,” Cox said.

 

“AFGE is calling on lawmakers to approve a 5.3 percent pay raise in 2017, which reflects the 1.6 percent national increase employees should receive plus a partial catch-up for the national and local pay adjustments denied for the past four years.”

 

The federal budget will be released on February 9th

GOP Candidates take a swing at what one called ‘sheer incompetence’ inside the VA-Federal Times

1. February, 2016|president's briefing|No comments

(February 1, 2016)

 

In order to further improve the lines of communication and to respond to the concerns between the National VA Council and you our members, I have established a National VA Council Briefing. This NVAC Briefing will bring you the latest news and developments within DVA and provide you with the current status of issues this Council is currently addressing. I believe that this NVAC Briefing will greatly enhance the way in which we communicate and the way in which we share new information, keeping you better informed.

 

Alma L. Lee

National VA Council, President

 

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In This Briefing: GOP Candidates take a swing at what one called ‘sheer incompetence’ inside the VA-Federal Times

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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks during the Republican presidential debate at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, He was one of a number of candidates that criticized management at the Department of Veterans Affairs in the wake of a series of scandals

 

Donald Trump’s absence may have been the elephant in the room for the Jan. 28 Fox News/Google Republican presidential debate, but it was the Department of Veterans Affairs that got the most notice from the candidates.

 

The VA has been reeling from a series of scandals related to everything from lengthy backlogs for patient care to two senior executives who misused their positions for material gain, making the agency a ripe target for debate fodder.

 

“I will make sure that we fire the sheer incompetence inside the Department of Veterans Affairs and then we’ll give veterans a choice card so that they don’t have to travel hours and hours to get care if they want to go to their private provider,” Bush said. “You want to make the Veterans Administration do a better job,  give veterans choices and you’ll get a much better result.”

 

In Fox News’ earlier Republican undercard debate, which included four GOP candidates polling at the lower end of the field, former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore also took a swing at the VA, offering a laundry list of necessary reforms:

 

“The lousy appeals process that they have got; the fact that sometimes they get good service at the VA and sometimes they don’t; and the fact that post-traumatic stress syndrome is not properly recognized – that psychology positions are unavailable.”

 

“And I will say this to you –  as the only veteran in this race, when I become president of the United States, the veterans are going to be treated with respect and competently,” Gilmore added.

 

Carly Fiorina also took the agency to task for its past scandals, comparing her time as CEO to Hewlett Packard to the sweeping personnel changes that she would make at the VA, if elected president.

 

“When we know that 307,000 veterans have died waiting for health care and the VA handed out $142 million worth of bonuses for superb performance, I’m going to start by firing 400 senior executives at the VA,” she said.

 

The presidential race kicks off on Feb. 1 with the Iowa caucuses.