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President's Report


NARFE Chapter Volunteers: As the year ends, I am pleased to recognize the great work that so many members have done this year. We have done extensive outreach throughout the year and especially the last two months with numerous health fair and retirement related events. This has been accomplished under the leadership of Juanita Tamayo-Lott and Mike Crahan. They have been supported by other Chapter members, including Pauline Jue, Richard Harned, Herman Bracey, Roz Itelson, Leslie Ching, and Martha Raup. Your program committee and logistics support (Roz Itelson, Jane Ramos, Helen Rogers, and Leslie Ching) produced an excellent program throughout the year. Frank Morelli has lead another successful year of raising funds for Alzheimer's research. This newsletter would not happen without the constant support and editorial expertise that Joe Mangiameli brings every month. Our legislative program led by Juanita Tamayo-Lott and Jon Lampman continues to maintain a close relationship with Nancy Pelosi's and Jackie Speier's offices as well as California's two Senators. Moreover, many of our members have written or called their legislative representatives throughout the year. Finally, your Chapter provides benefits information and referrals via your service officer, Pauline Jue, reminders about the importance of NARFE Pac, via our Pac Chair, Carol Michely, and "sunshine" support via Sue Mangiameli. We have many dedicated members in our Chapter and we are very fortunate that they support the success of your Chapter. As the new year approaches, think about ways that you may contribute to make your Chapter "the best in the Bay area." Thanks to all of you for your contributions and commitment to NARFE.
HOLIDAY GIVING: We ended the year with a pleasant luncheon at The Olive Garden at Stonestown. The lively group enjoyed excellent comradery and provided a barrelful of Toys for the City's Fire Department Toy program as well as several checks to support the program. This is our second year of supporting this exceptional program that provides toys for children throughout the year and most especially during the holiday season. Thanks to Helen Rogers for arranging for our visit from San Francisco Volunteer firefighters. If you missed the luncheon, you can still go by your local Fire Station and leave unwrapped toys for Children there.
2018 BUDGET UPDATE: Currently there are negotiations on a possible bipartisan budget agreement and the House is working on another continuing resolution that would keep the government funded through January 19, 2018. Plans to attach other bills to a continuing resolution are likely to receive pushback in the Senate and are creating greater uncertainty. Even with all the scrambling going on in Congress, NARFE members must stand strong. Legislators need to know that your federal pay and benefits were earned through service to your country and need to hear a unified message.  Contact your representatives to ensure they hear your voice about protecting all Federal workers and retirees earned benefits. Congress has used federal benefits in past bipartisan budget agreements for offsets and the federal community must speak out.
POTENTIAL FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PAY FREEZE: The White House is seeking to implement a government-wide federal employee pay freeze in 2019, according to a report released by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) minority staff. In late November, HSGAC minority staff received an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) document from a whistleblower that contained OMB's intention to implement a pay freeze. The document was OMB's response to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funding request for fiscal year 2019. DHS requested additional pay for some of its employees, but OMB denied this request and noted the administration's intention to implement a government-wide pay freeze.
NARFE is very concerned about this report. Federal employees are the backbone of America's middle class and they deserve fair and competitive compensation for their public service. To be proposing yet another pay freeze will make federal careers less and less attractive, especially to the millennials government needs to be recruiting and retaining. NARFE President Richard Thissen said there is no reason to institute a pay freeze when the economy is on the up swing and private sector pay is increasing. He stated it "is nothing more than an attack on the civil service."
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., echoed that sentiment, and noted that a pay freeze could actually cost money, if the expenses associated with increased employee turnover are taken into account. "If there isn't a reward system in place, it's going to be extraordinarily difficult to recruit," she said. "We're already seeing disinterest in federal service. It's pennywise and pound foolish, if we're constantly spending money on recruiting and training for new employees." Also, Jeff Marschner, a spokesman for Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., said the congresswoman would not support a pay freeze for federal workers, and Congress should act to ensure employees receive a raise. He said, "As the congresswoman has said before, the federal budget cannot be balanced on the backs of our federal workforce".
Unions and other groups representing federal employees also denounced the possibility of a pay freeze. Tony Reardon, national president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said in a statement that after three consecutive years of pay freezes during the Obama administration, feds don't deserve to be responsible for deficit reduction. "Refusing to give our nation's civil servants a modest increase, again, would cause them to fall even further behind their counterparts in the private sector," he said. "It would make it harder for the government to recruit and retain the highly skilled professionals needed to protect our security, our economy and our public health…"

Jerry Hall
President, Chapter 65
Ph: 415-412-0488

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