NTEU Applauds Furlough-Related Donations and Support from Del. Norton
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NTEU greatly appreciates the gesture made by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) in showing solidarity with federal employees who may be furloughed under the impending sequester.
Congresswoman Norton said at NTEU’s 2013 Legislative Conference that she would donate one day’s pay for each day federal employees are furloughed.
Washington-Area NTEU Members:
Race to Help Colleagues in Need
Washington-area federal employees can have fun while supporting the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund (FEEA).
The inaugural Public Service 5K Run/Walk is set for Sunday, May 5 at 8 a.m. in Anacostia Park in Washington, D.C. The event kicks off Public Service Recognition Week and includes NTEU and other public service groups recognizing the contributions of federal employees.
The cost is $20 for government employees and $25 for the general public, with proceeds benefiting FEEA. Advance registration is required.
Get an event flier.
“This is a remarkable gesture from a member of Congress who truly understands the value of the federal workforce and the economic pain that employees would experience from losing pay while furloughed,” said NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley.
The donation will be split between supporting the Federal Employees Education and Assistance (FEEA) Fund, a charity devoted to assisting federal employees in need, and forestalling furloughs of her congressional staff.
While the length of furloughs, if any, will differ among agencies, the congresswoman said her donations will match the highest number of furlough days by any federal agency.
The salaries of members of Congress are exempt from sequestration, but their office budgets will be subject to the same across-the-board cuts as federal agencies, Norton said, noting that could lead to furloughs of staff members and reduced constituent services.
“That is not fair to my constituents,” Del. Norton said. “By supplementing my office budget, we will continue to provide the same level of constituent services to District (of Columbia) residents.”
Further, she said, “in contributing to (FEEA), I hope to indicate my solidarity with federal employees and willingness to help.” NTEU President Kelley serves as a member of the Board of Directors of FEEA and said that federal employees are already stretched thin financially following a 27-month pay freeze and that unpaid furloughs would only make a bad situation worse.
President Kelley pointed to the results of an NTEU survey of more than 2,000 of its members showing the impact of the pay freeze and their concerns surrounding furloughs.
Among other impacts, a significant number of members said they have been delaying medical treatment to save money; others said they fear that a furlough would imperil their ability to pay for housing, utilities and even food; and still others told NTEU they worry about having difficulty paying a variety of educational expenses.
“Given the consequences, even one furlough day is one too many,” President Kelley said.