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Federal Employees News Digest : Dec 23, 2013
December 23, 2013 Vol. 63, No. 23 4 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com 50 or 60 hours. From what we have able to figure out, the abuses that might have occurred have been from management, not from the rank and file. What's going been going on with your union's push for TSA to create a new class of LEO (law enforcement officer) for TSA, to ensure the safety of TSOs? Cox: We are clearly pushing on this. We have never called for arming every TSO, but we do believe there needs to be a law enforcement position at TSA, at the fact-check point, to protect the employee. These officers have done a great job protecting the American pub- lic, but we haven't done a great job pro- tecting the officers—that showed in Los Angeles. That's clearly the direction we'd like to go in with TSA. How goes AFGE's long-term effort to improve conditions for its Bureau of Prisons members? Have you managed to improve safety and other conditions? Cox: We continue to work on these staffing issues. In the last couple of years, there have been at least three officers murdered. We're working on a large campaign with our members, and encouraging them to focus on their members of Congress---to expand the pepper spray expansion program this year. And we're going to constantly call attention to the American public, that one correctional officer is inside a prison with 150 inmates. Are there any other specific catego- ries of your members---for example, the Department of Veterans Affairs, that you might like to comment on? Cox: We continue to wrestle with the VA over their attempts to downgrade some employees. Because of some of the great work that AFGE did in advance of the sequester, the VA was not subject to the sequester or to the shutdown. However the VA did go through a back- door and basically try to downgrade employees to very low grades. We're talking about taking GS-5s to GS-4s, we're not talking about a 13 to a 12. Any other comments, projects you think our readers should know about? Cox: One more thing I will claim victory on is that we lowered that con- tractor compensation. We won the first round but we will be back fighting again. We will not stop until the con- tractor reimbursement is [no greater than] that of the vice president. We're excited about next year. Remember--- our membership is the highest it's been in 40-plus years, and we're proud to continue to grow: 284,715. To give you a little comparison, 10 years ago, we were at 204,282. We've had a 39 per- cent increase. When you consider we're totally open-shop---and we need some 45,000 new members to stay even— we've done a hell of a good job on this. 'Best Places' indicates further decline in worker satisfaction The 2013 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government rankings pub- lished last this week by the Partnership for Public Service paint a "disturbing picture" of dissatisfaction among federal employees, according to the group. The partnership, which together Deloitte Consulting assembled the report using data collected for the Office of Personnel Management's most recent Federal Employees Viewpoint Survey, based the index scores used for the rankings on answers to three items from the FEVS: "I recommend my organization as a good place to work;" "Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your job?" and "Considering everything, how satisfied are you with your organization?" "The 2013 data show that govern- ment-wide, the federal employee job satisfaction and commitment score dropped for the third year in a row, tumbling 3 points to 57.8 on a scale of 100," the report stated. "This repre- sents the lowest overall Best Places to Work score since the rankings were first launched in 2003, and follows a 3.2- point drop in 2012 and a 1-point decline in 2011." Perhaps worse yet, the report notes that most FEVS data were collected between April and June 2013, so the data do not even reflect how employee views may have been affected in the wake of the 16-day government shutdown. Overall, employee satisfaction decreased in 75.4 percent of federal agencies and their subcomponents, according to the report. In terms of Best Places to Work rank- ings, among large agencies---those with more than 15,000 employees—NASA ranked first among 19 large feder- al organizations, with a score of 74 on a scale of 100. Filling out the top five were the Commerce Department (67.6), Intelligence Community (67.3), State Department (65.6), and Justice Department (63.5). The Department of Homeland Security was last among large agen- cies, with a score of 46.8. Others at the bottom included the Department of the Army and Department of Labor, each with a score of 55.6, and the Department of Agriculture, with 56.1. The Environmental Protection Agency, with a score of 59.3, experienced the biggest year-to-year drop among large agencies, declining 8.3 points. The Federal Deposit Insurance continued from page 3 continued on page 8
Dec 16, 2013