National President Dougan: "The Department of Defense is placing a $38 million per-year burden on the workers who support our military."

Thursday, December 4, 2014

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Washington, D.C.
– Today, NFFE National President William R. Dougan participated in a roundtable discussion on Capitol Hill arranged by Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA) that brought together members of Congress, the Department of Defense (DoD), Defense workers union representatives and industry stakeholders to discuss recent DoD policy changes that shift $38 million per year in travel-related costs to the civilian workforce. The policies in question cut lodging and per diem reimbursements to DoD workers on long-term temporary duty (TDY). The following is a statement from William R. Dougan, National President of the National Federation of Federal Employees, the oldest federal employee union, representing 110,000 federal workers throughout the U.S., including 50,000 Defense workers: 

"The Department of Defense is placing a $38 million per-year burden on the workers who support our military," said Dougan. "The Department is touting this as a prudent financial decision, but it amounts to nothing more than a new tax on defense workers with the misfortune of being assigned on long-term temporary duty."

"Civilian Defense employees are being saddled with this $38 million annual financial burden in the wake of enduring years of pay freezes, significant pension cuts, and forced unpaid furloughs. For Defense workers, this is death by a thousand cuts. DoD shifting these costs onto workers is unfair and the policy change should be reversed immediately."

"We object to the substance of these unfair policy changes, but we also object to the process by which DoD arrived at them. The Department made their decision unilaterally and never discussed the matter with the workers who are impacted by the change. Changes like these are precisely what labor-management pre-decisional involvement is for – to get sensible feedback from workers before implementing a change that will do more harm than good. We hope DoD will work with us to find ways to mitigate the negative impact of these changes. That conversation needs to happen, and we are ready to have it when DoD is ready."

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Established in 1917, the National Federation of Federal Employees is the oldest union representing civil service federal employees.  NFFE represents 110,000 federal employees in 35 departments and agencies government-wide, including 50,000 Defense workers. NFFE is affiliated with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, AFL-CIO. For more information, go to

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