Washington D.C. – More than 350 members of the National Treasury Employees Union are on Capitol Hill this week meeting with their senators and representatives about issues that are important to the federal workforce.
The union’s annual Legislative Conference opened this morning with speeches from NTEU National President Tony Reardon and Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee.
Reardon announced NTEU’s 2023 legislative agenda: securing a fair pay raise in 2024; protecting existing federal employee benefits and adding a paid family leave program; maintaining workplace rights and safeguarding the merit-based civil service; providing agencies with adequate funding; and expanding telework and other workplace flexibilities.
“This is democracy in action,” Reardon told the attendees. “Your expertise and knowledge counts. As frontline federal employees you are voters and constituents. You are the most powerful messengers to carry our issues forward.”
Thompson is a strong advocate of frontline federal workers and a longtime supporter of union rights.
“I’m here to encourage you all to continue to do what you do,” Thompson said. “I don’t know anybody in this organization who wouldn’t do their dead level best to protect this country and you do it every day and I thank you for it.”
Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland also addressed the group in a video message.
“You are a great union which has been in the forefront of defending the civil rights and civil liberties of federal workers along with defending the integrity and effectiveness of federal government action,” Raskin said. “As the ranking member of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, my colleagues and I are totally determined to defend the professional, nonpartisan civil service operating on merit system principles. And we are totally committed to defending a pay increase that fairly compensates the workforce.”
Reardon urged NTEU members to explain in personal terms how decisions in Congress affect their workplace, their families and their ability to serve the American people.
“The theme of our Legislative Conference this year is Our Union, Our Voice, Our Power,” Reardon said. “We are here to proudly show the strength of NTEU, the unity of our voice and the power of our members. And we are off to a great start.”
NTEU represents employees in 34 federal agencies and offices, including the IRS, Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations, Environmental Protection Agency, Health and Human Services, Securities and Exchange Commission and others.