NFFE Mourns Passing of Irreplaceable Senator Edward M. KennedyWednesday, August 26, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Cory Bythrow, Communications Director
Phone: (202) 255-9950
Washington, D.C. – In response to the news of Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s passing early this morning, NFFE National President William R. Dougan issued the following statement:
“Today is truly a sad day for the federal workforce, and indeed every working man and woman who earns a day’s wage. Edward M. Kennedy’s innumerable accomplishments during his near half-century in the Senate have had a profound impact on the well-being of working families throughout the nation. Be it his fight for a livable wage, crusade for affordable healthcare, advocacy for safer working conditions, or defense of our rights in the workplace, Teddy’s heart unfailingly and consistently fell toward the direction of justice.
Over the years he has been an ardent supporter of federal employees on numerous issues. On the Armed Services Committee, Sen. Kennedy played a key role in passing legislation that scaled back NSPS and leveled the playing field for government workers in public-private competitions.
Sen. Kennedy’s privatization amendment was adopted and included in the final version of the fiscal year 2006 Defense Authorization bill. The language in his amendment ensured that civilian employees performing functions of ten or more employees could compete in defense of their jobs, allowed civilian employees to submit their most competitive bids to keep the work in-house, and required contractors to at least promise savings sufficient to offset the cost of conducting privatization reviews. These were critical changes to offset the reckless privatization of government work that was occurring at the time.
As chair of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee, Senator Kennedy championed an effort to increase the federal minimum wage, a victory that has led to increases in the wages of thousands of non-appropriated fund federal employees.
Ted Kennedy is irreplaceable. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Kennedy family and congressional staff.”