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Why NFFE?

We Protect Your Retirement!
The President’s Budget for fiscal year 2018 proposes to:
• CUT $149 billion from federal employee retirement over 10 years
• ELIMIMATE cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retirees covered by FERS
• ELIMINATE the FERS annuity supplement for new retirees
• INCREASE retirement contributions by 1% each year for 6 years
• USE HIGH 5 instead of high 3 salary years for FERS retirement calculations
• REDUCE COLAs significantly for retirees covered by CSRS

WHAT WOULD THIS MEAN FOR YOU?
Consider a 600% employee “pension tax” increase, or $75,000 per retiree.
Your pension may lose between 33% to 60% of its value in 20 years.
In 20 years, each $100 in pension dollars will be worth $76 to $40.

What else are we fighting?
• CUTS to PAY and RETIREMENT in the House Budget proposal of $32 billion or more
• RIFs and CUTS to agencies that will cost federal jobs
• HIRING FREEZES that further understaff the government and eliminate many promotional opportunities.
• INCREASES in employee contributions to FEHB
• PAY FREEZES disguised as fiscal prudency

Join the fight! Join NFFE today!


Hard Questions, Real Answers!

Unions face challenges and representatives in the union deal with hard questions every day. Working for employees as a union representative sometimes requires accepting personal cost and risk. No one likes criticism; speaking out on behalf of employees often requires union representatives to confront managers with serious issues. Numbers of members supporting the work of unions can only make facing hard issues and questions easier. Our union is faced with difficult issues and hard questions are asked of us. Here is some help.

“Why should I join the union when I'll get exactly the same benefits without joining?”

The union must represent all employees anyway. It is true that the union must represent all employees. However the extent to which the union will go to represent nonmembers may not be the same as for those members who pay dues to support the work done by the union. If you are not a member and a problem you face does not impact other member employees, it is likely the union will not pursue all actions that are available to members. The union does not have to represent nonmember employees to other agencies such as OWCP, EEOC or court and GAO actions. The union may not pursue all appeal processes to management’s actions against you if you are not a member.

 As a nonmember, you are passively speaking against the union. You are giving a message that you do not need representation and do not deserve any maintaining or improvement of working conditions. Doesn’t it make more sense to join the union in helping make improvements possible rather than be counted as one who is against better working conditions? If you are not for the union, you are against it. Whether we like to admit it or not, numbers are counted, lines are drawn and conclusions are made. Which side are you on?

“I would join if the union were stronger or better. I don’t really like how the union does things.”

As a nonmember, you have no vote and no voice in the union’s decisions, contract ratification or in election of representatives. If you do not agree with actions of the union, why not be a part of making changes? Make a difference. Help yourself and help others.

It's unfair to expect or accept benefits that others are paying for without contributing. It is also unfair for a person to realize all the benefits of unionism and not pay a fair share of the cost of gaining these benefits. Can you agree with the idea of not paying taxes yet demanding the services and benefits that taxes pay for? Would this be fair? Of course it wouldn't. Each person has an equal obligation to share the cost of supporting the organization that wins the benefits. The longer you remain a nonmember, the more difficult it is for the union to improve your working conditions.

“I don't need a union; I get along fine with my boss. What has the union gotten for us that we wouldn't have gotten anyway?”

The union played a big part in making good places to work. All of our jobs have been made better and more secure because of the union representation. Unions have fought and won improvements in hours and establishing the standard 40 hour work week. Union strength has led to standards of safety. Unions have established standards managers have adopted for themselves. Benefits of vacation and sick leave were won by union battles. It is true that times have changed. However, the same reasons continue for us to work to make today’s workplace an even better place to work. The increased complexity of technology has created new challenges. Safety hazards, changed circumstances and demands and opportunities of employees not imagined by the last generation have developed in scale with advancements made. Unions continue working to meet the challenges of new working conditions. Just as new modern workers must learn to use new tools, unions are educated and are knowledgeable regarding new situations, new concerns and even new health risks facing workers in these times.

Changes in our world have made survival in business more difficult than ever before. Pressures on employers to reduce cost, increase efficiency and simply become more productive with fewer employees makes some risks greater today than ever. Basic courtesies, fairness and consideration required of supervisors under pressure from all sides are required because contracts state they must be. Unions are constantly policing basic rights and looking over the shoulder of management. Even so, a majority of employees have a complaint or grievance at one time or another. That's where the union comes in.

“Can’t I just hire a lawyer if I need help? The union isn’t strong enough against management anyway.”

Battles are not often won easily. Obviously unions look bad when management delays agreeing to reasonable demands long enough for employees to feel intimidated and discouraged enough to resort to hiring personal attorneys. Collective agreements however require that all employees are treated equally. The laws governing labor relations are no different for employees represented by attorneys or a union. Management cannot grant or allow you anything greater or different than the union can achieve through negotiated processes. The passive strategy of waiting out employees is well used by unscrupulous managers who won’t be responsible for the individual expense of an employee’s personal attorney. In reality unions have exclusive rights to actions private lawyers may not be able to use in your support or defense. Management has accountability to other federal agencies in their relationship and negotiations with unions but are often less responsible for similar actions with individuals.

Join NFFE FL7 Now

Joining NFFE FL7 and exploring this web page (and the "Join Now web page) is considered official Union business, and must be read on personal/non-work time (such as breaks, lunch, before/after work).  
 
This webpage is for bargaining unit employees interested in joining NFFE Local 7 that are employed by The Army Corps of Engineers' Portland District, Walla Walla District, and Oregon USDA Rural Development.  

To become a dues paying member of NFFE FL7, click on the "Join Now" button at the top or bottom of this page and complete the necessary forms.Click me