NFFE Members Assemble for One of the Most Productive Legislative Conferences in Decades
Internal NFFE News
June 26, 2023
This past week, members of the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) assembled at the annual NFFE-IAM Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. From June 18 through June 22, NFFE members met with members of Congress to lobby for legislative issues that are critical for federal employees. Over 150 offices were visited by NFFE members over the course of the week, covering a wide range of issues.
“This event is one of the most important events of the year, and it sets the tone for our success later on during this session of congress,” said Randy Erwin, NFFE National President. “NFFE members came here charged up with a list of members of Congress to engage thoroughly on issues important to federal employees and their families. This year was the best legislative year NFFE has had in decades.”
Each morning included a General Session meeting where elected officials had the opportunity to speak to union members. After each day’s final remarks at noon, NFFE members were sent to Capitol Hill to engage in visits with various U.S. Senators and House Representatives. These meetings included discussions about Federal Adjustment of Income Rates Act, the Federal Retirement Fairness Act, the effects of a pay cliff on Federal Wildland Firefighters, the National Defense Authorization Act, VA employee working conditions, and more.
“Democracy is not a spectator sport,” said Steve Lenkart, NFFE Executive Director. “Members of Congress hear from NFFE headquarters staff every day, but when constituents from their districts or state show up in their offices, that is a very meaningful transaction. This is the real value of coming here to the nation’s capital to fight for what you believe in, in-person.”
After many productive general sessions and meetings with lawmakers, NFFE members spent the evenings socializing at receptions with their colleagues from across the country, one held by NFFE and another by IAM. In addition, on Thursday evening President Erwin invited NFFE members to his home for a barbecue cookout with his family and NFFE headquarters staff.
Erwin and Lenkart both applauded the week as a whole, stating that the members in attendance were wholly engaged, enthusiastic, and ready to make an impact.
“What I enjoy seeing at the end of the week is how much NFFE members learn about the legislative process and how much of an impact one individual can have on the laws and direction of the country,” said Lenkart. “Legislative Week is about taking the mystery out of the process and members becoming more confident in engaging with Congress and executive branch leaders, and in doing so, a wall of solidarity grows exponentially.”