National President Dougan: "Saddling Defense Workers with this $22.5 million per-year financial burden is a slap in the face."

Monday, March 2, 2015

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Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Derek Kilmer (D-WA) and Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC) introduced legislation that will stop the Department of Defense (DoD) from enforcing a policy that shifts an estimated $22.5 million per year in travel-related costs to the Department’s workforce. Today’s legislation follows an October of 2014 letter to DoD sent by a bipartisan coalition of 26 lawmakers calling for the Department to cease implementation of these disastrous cuts. The following is a statement from William R. Dougan, National President of the National Federation of Federal Employees, America’s first federal employee union, representing 110,000 federal workers throughout the U.S., including 50,000 Defense workers:

"Today’s legislation is sorely needed after the Department of Defense unilaterally plowed ahead with implementing a $22.5 million per-year financial burden on the workers who support our military," said Dougan. "We applaud Representatives Kilmer and Jones, as well as our allies on Capitol Hill that support this legislation and who agree that civilian Defense employees have endured enough. Enduring years of pay freezes, pension cuts and furloughs is bad enough, but these cuts to reimbursements are going to have a significant negative impact on employee morale. Saddling Defense workers with this $22.5 million per-year financial burden is a slap in the face."

"In recent years, Defense workers have experienced death by a thousand cuts, with pay and benefits being whittled away little by little. These cuts to DoD employees’ TDY reimbursements are just salt in the wound. These cuts dealt a significant blow to morale within the Department. The passage of this legislation will help rectify the problem of low morale that is already prevalent throughout the Department." 

"The Department of Defense instituted these cuts unilaterally and failed to collaborate on the issue with the workers being impacted. DoD’s failure to collaborate represents a lack of respect for productive labor-management partnerships and constructive pre-decisional involvement. We hope that, moving forward, the Department will be more willing to engage in meaningful discussion on such broad workforce policy changes that inflict more harm than good."

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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 the majority of federal wildland firefighters. NFFE is affiliated with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, AFL-CIO. For more information, go to

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