January 10, 2019: Making my voice heard

I joined hundreds of other members of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the Services Employees International Union (SEIU), the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) and other groups for a rally near the White House. Besides Federal employees, other speakers included Senators Ben Cardin (MD), Chris Van Hollen (MD), Mark Warner (VA), Mazie Hirono (HI), and Bernie Sanders (VT).

All we are asking for is the chance for those of us who are furloughed to be allowed to return to work and those who are essential to get paid for the work that they are doing. I’m including a couple of links. The first is an article from the Washington Post. The second is a video from the NTEU’s Facebook page. Finally, I’ll include some photos that I took.

NTEU President Anthony Reardon
Senator Bernie Sanders
Marching by the White House

January 9, 2019: Make Your Voice Heard

I am posting this from my Federal employees’ union.

NTEU and other federal employee unions are conducting a rally to end the shutdown this Thursday, Jan. 10.


This shutdown has gone on too long. You and 800,000 federal employees are hurting and it is time to raise our voices and say “No More”. We need to send a message to Congress and the administration that a shutdown hurts American families and halts vital services for the public.

Join National President Tony Reardon, congressional leaders, other labor leaders, NTEU members and federal employees from across government to publicly call for an end to the shutdown, demand that federal employees be paid promptly, and that the federal workforce be given a pay raise this year.

Rally Details
Noon to 1 pm
Thursday (Jan. 10)
AFL-CIO Headquarters
815 16th St NW
Washington, D.C.

Nearest Metro stations are McPherson Square (Blue, Orange and Silver lines) and Farragut North (Red line).

Join us! If you are in the Washington, D.C., area bring your chapter members, family and friends. Wear your NTEU gear and be ready to get loud.

Not in DC? You can still make your voice heard. Plan to visit the NTEU Legislative Action Center on Thursday and send a message to Congress and the administration that you want the shutdown to end.

January 9, 2019: Shutdown Musings

On December 22, 2018, I became one of 380,000 Federal employees furloughed from my job because of a “lapse in appropriations” — Congress failed to fund my Agency. (Another 400,000 Federal employees deemed “essential” have had to work without pay, including TSA agents, Customs and Border Control staff, and Coast Guard employees.) It has been a surreal experience, particularly as this shutdown drags on and on. This blog is a chance to share my perspectives.

Is a Furlough a Paid Vacation?

A few days ago, I listed to 1A, a radio program hosted by WAMU, the local National Public Radio affiliate. This program was about the shutdown. A guest speaker was NTEU National President Anthony Reardon. Listeners were invited to call in. One caller, a contractor who works side by side with Federal employees, observed that some Federal employees welcome shutdowns as free vacations. Historically, Federal employees have always been paid after the Government reopens, whether they must work or are unable to work. So to have a day or two that the Government is closed may be a chance for some to recharge without having to use annual or sick leave.

I understand that; personally, because I was battling a cold, I welcomed the chance to stay in bed and watch junk TV for a day or two. However, this is Day 19! We care about our work, we care about the services that we provide the American people, and we also care about paying our bills.

I need to add that there is NO guarantee that furloughed employees will be paid for this shutdown. Congress needs to vote on this and the President needs to sign off on it. This shutdown appears to be different from other shutdowns, so nothing is guaranteed. I’ll add that even if we are reimbursed, bills are coming due now and can’t wait for Congress and the President to act.