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Union president responds to letter criticizing protesters

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Posted: Saturday, May 4, 2013 4:30 am

To the Editor:

As the president of the largest federal employees union in Congressman John Carter’s district, I felt compelled to respond to Mr. Peter Clark’s letter to the editor, “AFGE employees upset at GOP but Democrats to blame as well.” (March 24)

It is very clear to all who read that message that Mr. Peter Clark was misinformed, because if he had listened to our message, and had known what our concerns as federal employees are, he would have known that most federal employees, not just AFGE members in Central Texas, but across the nation, are very upset at politicians such as John Carter, who during the budget deficit crisis, voted to put a pay freeze on federal employees in 2010 for two years; that took $103 billion away from federal employees and their families. It wasn’t federal employees who caused the budget deficit, and Congress shouldn’t try and balance the budget on federal employees’ backs.

Congress should repeal sequestration because it was designed as a tactic, a threat that would cause Congress to act, not an acceptable action in and of itself. Sequestration has failed and no longer serves any genuinely useful purpose. I believe sequestration will significantly undermine national security and will also create an economic crisis for our community. When DoD civilian employees lose 20 percent of their pay, they will be spending less in our community.

John Carter has toed the Republican line since he has been in office and many Central Texans have witnessed that and are fed up with his inability to compromise and get things done. Carter voted in January to extend that same pay freeze on federal employees for 2013. John Carter has failed to respond to invitations to meet with the civilian leadership at Fort Hood and at the VA hospital in Temple to discuss issues that affect federal employees in this district. Mr. Clark needs to recognize that John Carter works for the constituents he serves, not the other way around.

Mr. Clark should know that if John Carter was a Democrat but had the same voting records ... federal employees in Central Texas would surely be very upset with him as well.

The point is not whether Rep. Carter is Republican or Democrat. It is his lack of support for the civilian workers dedicated to serving the military families and veterans in his district.

Cheryl Eliano

President, AFGE Local 1920

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3 comments:

  • herveaa posted at 10:54 pm on Tue, May 21, 2013.

    herveaa Posts: 5

    For Dr. Strangelove, the person who assumes all government workers make $15/hour to start. Here are actual job listings for jobs on Ft. Hood:
    RECREATION ASSISTANT
    Department of the Army 6,973 reviews - Fort Hood, TX
    Credit will be given for appropriate unpaid experience or volunteer work. Nonappropriated Funds (NAF) Regular positions include the following NAF Benefits:.... $11.41 - $13.69 an hour
    usajobs.gov - 10:04 AM
    WAITER
    Department of the Army 6,973 reviews - Fort Hood, TX
    Nonappropriated Funds (NAF) FLEXIBLE positions do not include benefits. Takes orders. Maintains sales record.... $8.51 - $9.93 an hour
    usajobs.gov - 10:04 AM
    CASHIER-CHECKER
    Department of the Army 6,973 reviews - Fort Hood, TX
    Ability to add, subtract, multiply and divide at level necessary to complete required reports. 2. You must meet all qualification requirements by the closing... $8.00 - $9.60 an hour
    usajobs.gov - 10:04 AM
    FOOD AND BEVERAGE ATTENDANT
    Department of the Army 6,973 reviews - Fort Hood, TX
    Nonappropriated Funds (NAF) FLEXIBLE positions do not include benefits . Makes simple sandwiches and performs other simple food preparation.... $8.51 - $9.93 an hour
    usajobs.gov - 10:04 AM
    COOK
    Department of the Army 6,973 reviews - Fort Hood, TX
    Nonappropriated Funds (NAF) FLEXIBLE positions do not include benefits . Must be able to lift or move objects up to 40 pounds unassisted, and occasionally lift... $9.15 - $10.67 an hour
    usajobs.gov - 10:04 AM

     
  • herveaa posted at 3:14 am on Mon, May 20, 2013.

    herveaa Posts: 5

    Ms. Eliano appropriately wrote a letter to the editor of the Killeen Daily Herald, the LOCAL AREA NEWSPAPER, pointing out that the Member of Congress who represents most of Fort Hood's civilian employees and their families has NOT voted in support of legislation beneficial to Fort Hood's employees.
    In his comments,"Dr. Strangelove" assumes unions don't criticize Democrats and don't support Republicans. As a matter of FACT, many union members are Republicans and union PACs have contributed to Republican campaigns. Note - it is illegal for unions to use union dues for political purposes; hence, all political donations are made from Union PACs which are funded with voluntary contributions.
    Regarding Fort Hood workers earning a $15 per hour starting wage, Dr. Strangelove is completely wrong. I have worked as a civil servant for over two years and still make under $15 per hour, and there are many more workers on Fort Hood who earn less. In fact, some Fort Hood workers start out at minimum wage.
    By the way, union members do not want anyone to feel sorry for them. They merely want the people of the Fort Hood are to understand that the pay freeze, job cuts, furloughs, and other budget cutting measures aren't just hurting civilian workers, they are also hurting our local economy to the tune of over $100 million. And the worst is yet to come since the BRAC is considering cutting 8,000 troop from Fort Hood.

     
  • Dr Strangelove posted at 10:03 am on Sat, May 4, 2013.

    Dr Strangelove Posts: 447

    “John Carter has toed the Republican line.” You have just showed us what party you support but that’s no surprise to me Unions have toed the Democratic line before I was born. President Obama has toed his own line since he’s been in office. Look at history of our Presidents working with Congress this guy has failed. He has not worked with Congress. There is a word he needs to learn, “Compromise.” The sequester was his idea—he wants you to suffer so he can get his way that’s who you should be upset with but I understand you are under orders from your union bosses in Washington D.C.

    People in the real world ah that’s outside Fort Hood doesn’t have sympathy for you union workers. People out here have been laid off, hours cut back. Where I work starting in November usually ending in February is our slow season hours are cut back—welcome to the real world. We have medical, dental, profit sharing, 401K plans and NO UNION DUES!

    Most people in the real world get paid anywhere from minimum wage to $12 dollars an hour in Central Texas. Most of you start out at $15 dollars an hour do you honestly think we feel sorry for you? I must admit President Obama is doing a great job—ticking off unions and boosting gun sales.