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Federal Employees News Digest : July 15, 2013
Phil Piemonte, Managing Editor E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org What's Inside44 JULY 15, 2013 • VOL. 62, NO. 50 Coalition campaign targets DOD furloughs A coalition of federal employee organi- zations is mounting an online letter-writ- ing campaign as part of its effort to pres- sure Congress to halt Defense Department furloughs that began the week of July 8. The coalition---the Federal Workers Alliance, which is made up of 22 fed- eral unions and other organizations--- kicked off the automated letter-writing process at the beginning of July, using an improved grassroots software system that made it easier for feds to lodge objections with congressional lawmakers through- out the holiday weekend. The members of the coalition, which includes the National Federation of Federal Employees, the International Federation of Professional and Technical Employees, the National Association of Government Employees and others, have prominently posted links to the FWA "Furlough Red Zone" letter-writing fea- ture on their websites. By Monday, July 8, according to a release circulated by NFFE, more than 3,100 let- ters had been sent to 317 congressional offices. By the next day, that number had spiked to more than 4,300 letters sent to 362 congressional offices---to members representing all 50 states. "The reaction from our members has been very positive," William R. Dougan, NFFE president, told FEND. "More and more our people are taking the opportunity to send a letter and make other contact--- including phone calls---to elected officials about their displeasure with the DOD fur- loughs, and furloughs in general." "We continue to gain momentum--- and we're seeing the other FWA labor organizations and their membership reacting very favorably. We believe that this tidal wave of action is going to con- tinue," Dougan added. "It's been a very successful campaign," concurred Meghan Walsh, communica- tions and legislative director for NAGE, in an interview with FEND. NAGE rep- resents more than 50,000 DOD workers across the country. Walsh emphasized the improvements in the activism software used by FWA in the current campaign, versus previous efforts. The interface is more user-friend- ly, requiring only a zip code to begin sending a letter to the correct House and Senate offices---and permitting a sender to use either a template letter, or an easily customized letter. Data is key by-product Perhaps equally importantly, the soft- ware is providing the FWA with rich data about which congressional offices are receiving how many letters, and generat- ing highly useful reports the group uses in its accompanying lobbying efforts. "Most people send the template letter, but we had perhaps as many as 150 who customized their own letters," Walsh told FEND. "We get an inventory---how many letters, where they were sent, which states got the most reaction, and so on---this is very useful for us to know. We can then go to these offices and let them know we know how many constituents responded, Faceless bureaucracy: Maybe not so bad So, what's worse than being the least-known federal agency? What is even more terrible than the fact that your non- federal friends, neigh- bors and relatives don't have a clue what you do? Short answer: Being the best-known federal agency! There are two ways to become famous if you represent the federal government. The first is to do something out of this world, as when NASA put men on the moon, or the military-CIA team tracked Bin Laden for a dozen years. In that case, you gain widespread admiration and respect. The second way to become famous if you represent the federal government is to do something stupid or reprehensible, and become a national laughingstock, goat or evil genius. The sad truth is that politicians, the media and much of the public, while loving our heroes, also want and need villains. We need people we love to hate. If it is the government, so much the better. Case in point: The Federal Emergency INSIGHT BY MIKE CAUSEY continued on page 2 For more news...see Federal Daily at www.FederalDaily.com • FEHB open to all married couples 3 • Obama wants reorganization power 4 • Rulings Roundup 5 • Informed Investor 7 • Federal Benefits Q&A 8 continued on page 3
July 8, 2013
July 22, 2013