Egerman, Howard

Deal or No Deal for Federal Workers

By Howard Egerman
AFGE local 3172

For the second time this year, federal workers throughout California appeared to be contestants on a Congressional/Presidential version of "Deal or No Deal."

Unlike private sector workers, those of us who work for Uncle Sam are dependent on Congress and the President for our pay and benefits. Even before this new high-stakes game began, we found ourselves with salary freezes over the next three years, regardless as to the cost of living or the increased cost of our health insurance coverage. And we just recently survived a last-minute threat of a government wide shutdown. While we may be paid through September 30, 20ll when the current fiscal year ends, everything else is uncertain.

A Roller Coaster for Federal Employees

By Howard Egerman
AFGE Local 3172

My fellow Social Security Administration employees and other federal employees in California feel as if we are on a roller coaster that will not stop.  For the last several weeks, we have faced the threat of a possible federal government shutdown -- and if Congress fails to come to a budget compromise by the end of this week, that shutdown would effectively begin at midnight tonight. At the same time, we’re holding on to the hope that Congress could pass a continuing resolution that would provide funding for one week, two weeks or even three weeks of work.  We almost feel as if we are dead women and men walking, waiting for some last-minute reprieve or commutation of our employment “sentence.”