Celebrating National Nurses Week 2013

AFGE honors and recognizes the commitment of federal nurses in providing world-class healthcare. Below is a slide show highlighting some of our AFGE federal nurses.

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Have You Been Affected by Furloughs? We Want to Hear From You!

More than 700,000 federal government employees will experience up to a 20 percent pay cut due to forced furloughs. Are you an AFGE member affected by furloughs?  We want to hear from you about how furloughs are affecting your family, your life, and your community. Please click here to share your story with us and have your voices heard.

Please be sure to include your name, location, the federal agency you work for and your AFGE local number. So many of our members have shared their experiences and we want to hear from YOU!

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Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan off generator power following Superstorm Sandy

The Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan is now off generators and the power is up and running, following power outages in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. Council of Prison Locals Northeast Regional Vice President Phil Glover said that officers are still struggling getting to and from the facilities because of loss of personal property, including cars. He also expressed his appreciation for the many officers who slept on cots during the storm while their families were at home. AFGE would like to thank these officers for their dedication.

Additionally, AFGE would like to thank the veterans at the BOP in honor of Veterans Day. Roughly 60-70 percent of BOP officers are veterans.

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Superstorm Sandy aftermath updates from VA and BOP

Veterans Affairs

Due to storm damage, the Manhattan VA Medical Center will be closed for the rest of the year resulting in VA workers being forced to use heroic efforts to get to work.

George Jones, President of AFGE Local 2094, and Nicos Hadjiangelis, President of AFGE Local 2695, have said that with the closure of the Manhattan VA facility, many employees are working out of the Brooklyn VA and some are working at other local centers, including those in the Bronx and St. Albans.

This means that VA workers must make an extra effort to get to their newly assigned and farther out VA facilities, despite the fact that many are facing power outages and property losses at home. Jones said that increased travel time to get to and from work can range anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours for some employees.

Concerns of the membership include transportation issues like the increased cost and time needed to travel to other locations, conflicts related to accommodating for child care changes and family commitments and uncertainty as to how long they will be displaced from the Manhattan work site.

In terms of transportation, there is currently a shuttle running between the Manhattan and Brooklyn facilities to transport employees and veterans. Both Locals have been in meetings with the Manhattan VA director to discuss issues affecting the employees and the plans for re-opening the facility. There have been talks about establishing a shuttle between the Brooklyn train stop and the Brooklyn VA. Currently employees and patients have to walk about 15-20 mins to get to the facility if they take public transit. The shuttle between the Manhattan VA to the Brooklyn VA is expected to end this week.

These employees are facing serious personal hardships as they deal with issues getting to and from work, damage that may have been done to their homes and the loss of electricity.

Bureau of Prisons

UPDATE: Right now, normal operating procedures at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan and the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn are being disrupted due to staff difficulties getting to and from the facilities because of power loss at their homes and the loss of personal property, including vehicles, from flooding. Both facilities are getting ready and bracing for the next storm.

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Superstorm Sandy: How Can You Help?

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can donate to relief funds or volunteer to help rebuild areas of New York City, please visit www.nycservice.org.

You may also make a monetary donation to the United Way Regional Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund by visiting UWSandyRecovery.org or make a $10 donation by texting RECOVERY to 52000.

Several New York City and Long Island, NY food banks are accepting food and monetary donations as well as volunteers.  More information is below.

City Harvest: Donations can be made online at http://www.cityharvest.org/donate-funds/ or over the phone at 646-412-0643 between 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. To make a food donation, please contact: Racine Rodriguez at 347-443-8413 or rrodriguez@cityharvest.org.

Food Bank of NYC: They are seeking volunteers at their warehouse located at Hunts Point Cooperative Market, 355 Food Center Drive Bronx, NY 10474. Their phone is 718-991-4300.

Island Harvest: The following items are needed: bottled water, Vitamin Water, healthy snack bars, peanut butter, crackers, pop-top food cans such as tuna and chili. If you would like to donate, please call the Emergency Food Collections Center at 631-873-4775. Donations can be dropped off on weekdays before 3:00 pm at Hauppauge Warehouse, 40 Marcus Blvd, Hauppauge. You can also call the Emergency Food Collections Center at 631-873-4775.

Long Island Cares: They are accepting donations at The Harry Chapin Food Bank, 10 Davids Drive (Harry Chapin Way), Hauppauge, NY 11788-2039. You can also call 631-582-FOOD or email info@licares.org.

Sustainable Long Island: You can make a donation at http://sustainableli.org/ or by calling 516-873-0230.

Stayed tuned for more updates on how you can help those affected by Superstorm Sandy.

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Have You Been Affected by Superstorm Sandy and Need Assistance?

Many of our members in New York and New Jersey have been affected by the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Union Plus is offering $500 disaster relief grants to help participants in the Union Plus credit card, insurance, or mortgage programs who are facing hardship due to the storm. Please visit www.unionplus.org/sandy for more information.

For more information about FEMA assistance, shelter information, and gas shortages, please visit http://www.governor.ny.gov.

Those affected by the storm may also contact United Way 2-1-1 for assistance. United Way 2-1-1 also has volunteer opportunities for those who would like to help. Visit www.211us.org.

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In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, there are options to make it easier for New Jerseyans to vote in this election.  In this important election, if you are capable of voting, we strongly encourage you to do so.  You can find out the location of your polling place by texting the word “where” to 877-877 and following the reply prompts.

You can also vote by going to your County Clerk’s office today between 8:30 am and 4 pm and on Election Day between 8:30 am and 3 pm.  You can find the list of county clerk offices and information here: http://nj.gov/state/elections/voting-information-local-officials.html

On Election Day, if you are displaced as a result of the hurricane, you will be able to go to any open polling location in the state of New Jersey and cast a Provisional Ballot.

If you’ve been displaced as a result of the superstorm, and cannot reach a polling place, you can vote by email or by fax by requesting a mail in ballot.  This is a process the state already uses for military personnel stationed overseas.  To vote electronically, voters may submit a mail-in ballot application either by e-mail or fax to their county clerk on or before 5:00PM on November 6th. Once an application is approved, the clerk will electronically send a ballot to the voter by either fax or e-mail in accordance with the voter’s preference. Voters must return their electronic ballot – by fax or email – no later than November 6, 2012, at 8 p.m.  Voters can download a mail-in ballot application at the following link: http://nj.gov/state/elections/voting-information-vote-by-mail.html.

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District 2 Hit Hard by Superstorm Sandy

Many of our members in New York and New Jersey are still without power and will be for the next few weeks. The houses of a few members were destroyed by the devastating hurricane including a member of Coast Guard Local 2747.

Some areas of New Jersey have issued a curfew due to the widespread power outage but the potential of looters still lingers. In addition, the gas shortage has greatly affected members’ ability to get to work.

The aftermath of the storm is now affecting voting in both New York and New Jersey as many people’s voting location has changed.  Please check with your local Board of Elections for more information.

We will continue to keep you posted about the status of our members affected by Superstorm Sandy.

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Superstorm Sandy Disrupts Work and Causes Damage

The massive hurricane that swept through the East Coast has caused millions to go without power and has left many homes, businesses and personal items damaged or destroyed. The storm has also resulted in many closed doors at local government agency facilities due to lack of electricity. However, AFGE has received word from BOP representatives who say that neither the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan and Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn had to shut down or move inmates, though the prisons are not back to normal operations. Currently MCC New York is operating on a generator power and officers in MDC Brooklyn were forced to stay at the facility and sleep on cots, which resulted in major car loss because of parking lot flooding. Due to these problems and other factors, officers are having a hard time getting to and from the facilities.

Stay tuned for updates from other agencies that experienced disruptions during the storm.

The parking lot of the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn shortly after the storm passed through.

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AFGE Presents Young Organizing Unionists for the Next Generation (Y.O.U.N.G.)

The very first AFGE Y.O.U.N.G. (Young Organizing Unionists for the Next Generation) AFGE Training Summit was held August 11th & 12th in Las Vegas in conjunction with AFGE’s 39th National Convention.

Over 200 young union members and seasoned mentors came together to find empowerment, education and inspiration to be true leaders and activists to secure the future of AFGE and the Labor Movement.  The theme for the training summit was “Connecting the Dots”. The summit was designed to show that everything working Americans are experiencing right now is not unintentional and each attack we are facing is an individual dot that creates a very ugly picture for our future.

Learn more about AFGE Y.O.U.N.G. in the video below. Click here to see photos from the summit.

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