- American Federation of Government Employees
full_name= American Federation of Government Employees
August 18, 1932
people= John Gage, president
website= [http://www.afge.org/ www.afge.org]
The American Federation of Government Employees is an American labor union representing over 600,000 employees of the federal government, about 5,000 employees of the District of Columbia, and a few hundred private sector employees, mostly in and around federal facilities.
AFGE is the largest union for civilian, non-postal federal employees and the largest union for District of Columbia employees who report directly to the mayor (i.e., outside of DC Public Schools) and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO. AFGE was founded on October 17,1932 by local lodges which were loyal to the American Federation of Labor and left the National Federation of Federal Employees when that union became independent of the AFL (NFFE has in recent years become part of the IAMAW, which is affiliated with the AFL-CIO).
AFGE is led by a National Executive Council, made up of National President John Gage, National Secretary Treasurer J. David Cox and National Vice President Andrea Brooks, elected at a triennial National Convention, and 12 National Vice Presidents who oversee geographic districts and are elected at District caucuses. Previous National Presidents going back to the 1960s include Bobby L. Harnage, Sr., John N. Sturdivant, Kenneth Blaylock, Dennis Garrison, Clyde Weber, and John Griner. AFGE has played a crucial role in the struggle for Women's rights and civil rights in the federal sector, and was one of the first unions to establish a Women's Department and a Fair Practices Department, with the officer over those Departments holding a seat on the NEC and with Women's and Fair Practices Coordinators elected in each AFGE District since the early 1970s.
Federal employees' right to organize and bargain binding labor contracts was established in law by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, which AFGE helped to draft, and which states that collective bargaining in the federal sector is in the public interest while also barring the right to strike. All union membership in the federal sector is entirely voluntary, as the law does not allow for the "closed shop" and federal employees are barred from being candidates for partisan political office and no dues money may be spent on partisan political campaigns. Labor relations in the federal sector are governed by the Federal Labor Relations Authority, an independent federal agency, and federal sector unions have recourse to binding arbitration and to the Federal Services Impasses Panel to resolve impasses which might lead to a strike in the private sector.
AFGE has been growing in membership in recent years and now has more than 225,000 dues paying members in about 1100 AFGE Locals at more than 100 federal agencies. For AFGE, collective bargaining responsibilities are delegated to Councils of Locals at major agencies, including the VA, the Food Safety Inspection Service (USDA), HUD, the Social Security Administration, the Bureau of Prisons (DOJ), major components of the Department of Defense, such as the Air Force Materiel Command and the Marine Corps, and major components of the Department of Homeland Security, including the Border Patrol, Federal Protective Service, ICE, CIS, and the Coast Guard. AFGE represents almost every type of worker in the American economy, blue collar and white collar, and covers a variety of professional, technical and support personnel-- including nurses, doctors, machinists, electricians, aircraft mechanics, astronauts, scientists, safety inspectors, mine inspectors, food inspectors, environmental specialists, accountants and accounting technicians, fire fighters, police officers, cowboys, engineers, administrative assistants, janitors, radio and TV broadcasters, procurement specialists, quality assurance specialists, benefits administrators, housekeepers, lawyers and paralegals, boiler plant operators and many more.
AFGE's recent court suits to stop the worst aspects of the Bush Administration's "National Security Personnel System" (for DOD) and MAXHR (for DHS) were successful, and AFGE also won recent changes to law that make the contracting out process more balanced in regard to federal employees' interests.
AFGE's motto was established as "To Do For All That Which No One Can Do For Oneself".
AFGE's original emblem was a shield with the stars and strips and the words "Justice, Fraternity, Progress" and the current emblem is three workers supporting a globe with a map of the United States and the words "Proud to Make America Work".
AFGE is currently organizing the 43,000 employees of the Transportation Security Administration, part of DHS, and AFGE is working for a change in law which will give them the same collective bargaining rights as other federal employees. TSA employees are currently denied those basic rights, which are enjoyed by most other DHS employees.
* [http://www.afge.org/ American Federation of Government Employees]
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