The Day that Was: A Recap of Days Three and Four of the 49th NFFE National Convention
Packed with new business, awards, and two different “big announcements,” days three and four of NFFE’s 49th National Convention were just as action-packed as the preceding two.
Day three started with a bang, as members affirmed NFFE’s endorsement of Barack Obama for President of the United States. In a speech before an electrified audience, President Dougan made the case for re-electing the man who opened more doors to federal employees and their issues than anyone in Washington.
“For nearly four years, President Obama has consistently demonstrated a deep respect and admiration for the work federal employees perform every day for the benefit of their fellow Americans,” said Dougan. “Through his words and more importantly, his actions, Obama has been a proactive leader on key federal worker issues. Though we have no always seen eye to eye with the President, we know he has the best interest of federal employees at heart.”
Dougan argued that when we elect a President, we are not just voting for the candidate, but everyone they appoint to lead the agencies within which we all work. Based upon the individuals appointed under the last Republican administration, a similar cast of characters could be expected under a Romney Administration, a nightmare scenario for federal employees.
“This is the most important election federal employees will likely see in their lifetimes,” said Dougan. “Federal employees face a clear choice between two fundamentally different views of the role of government and the people who work for it. Governor Romney has taken several extreme positions on federal workforce policy such as a 10% workforce reduction, cuts in federal compensation of between 30-40%, and a desire to eliminate federal unions altogether. He regularly refers to federal employees as ‘government bureaucrats.’ But it gets worse. In a closed-door fundraiser with wealthy donors in Boca Raton, FL, Romney was asked if he would “clean house” of federal employees were he to be elected president. He responded: “I wish we weren’t unionized so we could go a lot deeper than you’re actually allowed to go.”
With signs waving and excitement in the air, it was clear that NFFE leaders in attendance were ready to do their part to protect their jobs and their livelihoods this election. If you want to learn more about what you can do to get involved in the campaign in your community, click here.
Following the rousing endorsement, 18 NFFE locals from across the country were awarded for their recruiting success over the past four years. Three locals received awards for ‘Ongoing Excellence in Recruiting.’ As written in the 2012 Organizing and Recruiting Strategic Plan, these locals have at least 100 members and a membership density of 50% or greater. Any locals with at least 35 members and a membership density of 80% or greater also qualify, but no locals currently fall into that category. The Sustained Excellence in Recruiting winners are:
Local 1: San Francisco VA Hospital, San Francisco, CA
Local 387: Northport VA Hospital, Northport, NY
Local 1697: Western Civilian Conservation Corps Centers
To determine the remaining award winners, locals were ranked and placed in the appropriate Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Copper categories, as written in the plan. While the criteria were written to cover a single year, they were multiplied to determine their four year equivalents. Each local that fell into the Platinum or Gold category that is not already receiving an “Ongoing Excellence in Recruiting” award, were recognized here. The Platinum locals have a density of 50% or greater, and recruited at least 400 members during the previous four years. The Gold locals have a density of 35% or greater, and recruited at least 200 members during the previous four years.
The Platinum and Gold locals are: Local 2: JAG School and NFFE National employees, Charlottesville, VA and Washington D.C.; Local 12: Naval Air Station, Pensacola, FL; Local 95: Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System, Montgomery, AL; Local 276: Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, WI; Local 1450: Housing and Urban Development, California and the Southwestern U.S. (Region IX); Local 1453: Ft. Lauderdale VA Center, Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Local 1804: Housing and Urban Development, Detroit, MI; Local 1840: Forest Service Job Corps Centers, Puxico, MO; Local 1855: Forest Service Job Corps Centers, Pine Knot, KY; Local 1904: New Orleans VA Medical Center, New Orleans, LA; Local 2058: Aberdeen Proving Ground, Gunpowder, MD; Local 2081: Inyo National Forest, Bishop, CA; Local 2109: Watervliet Arsenal, Troy, NY; Local 2192: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Munising, MI; Local 2189: Red River Army Depot, Hooks, TX
A big congratulations to all of our winners. Keep up the great work! You can find pictures of our award winners and other snapshots from Convention by viewing the photo album.
Throughout the remainder of days three and four, NFFE members conducted the business of their union by electing their new National Executive Council and amending the union’s national bylaws.
Another congratulations goes out to our new National Executive Council. You can learn more about the new NEC on our website, www.nffe.org.
With elections complete and the bylaws amended, as its last piece of business NFFE officially adopted resolutions of support for the Young Federal Leaders (YFL) initiative, and a new national committee on minority issues. More details on the members and role of the yet-unnamed committee on minority issues will be released as soon they are available. You can learn more about the young leader program by visiting the YFL webpage.
When all was said and done, the Convention was a great success. Members came and went, business was done, and good times were had. What remains now is the legacy of what we accomplished, and will accomplish. Four years from now, in 2016, we will once again come together, look inward, and map out the next four. We did the business of our union, and we did it well. Thanks to all who joined us last week in Portland.