I have worked in Federal Service since I was 20 years old, I am now 53 years old. I started right out of high school fighting forest fires, and then taking care of Forest Service campgrounds. I have cleaned enough trash from public lands to fill a football stadium, and cleaned public restrooms that were in such a state that you would not want me to describe it. All for the benefit of the public. I now support my husband who worked construction for 30 years and ruined his back in the process. We are not rich, we get by. I do enjoy the protections and benefits that Federal employment affords its workers and I have seen how those inspired Federal workers to do whatever it takes to get the job done. Our office is always understaffed and overworked. Workers are there on weekends every weekend. I am on the low end of Federal employment, a GS-7 after over 30 years. I am proud to serve the public and take pride in providing safe, clean places in the public lands to unwind, enjoy, hunt, fish, explore and all the other wonderful benefits of public lands. Every year my benefits cost more and I only get a cost of living increase of maybe 1 or 2 percent. No big bonuses, no big paychecks. Next time you visit the Agua Fria National Monument and stop to use the restroom thank a dedicated federal employee for the fact that it is clean and sanitary.
AFGE Local 376
Bureau of Land Management, Arizona