Across the country, federal employees protect and serve our nation. To honor these workers and their service, May 5th through May 11th has been designated as Public Service Recognition Week. With the exception of astronauts and the SEAL team that caught Osama bin Laden, there aren't many federal employees whose work is heralded in newspaper headlines.
Whether it's our role to inspect food and water, open new international trade routes for U.S. companies to sell their products, patrol America's borders, protect our freedoms, take criminals off the streets and keep them behind bars, acquire the best equipment for our soldiers, or provide the intelligence needed to thwart terrorism, a federal employee's satisfaction comes from the knowledge that America is safer and stronger because we did our jobs.
There are many federal workers in your communities and surrounding areas! For example, they sound the alarm when a bad storm is coming; postal employees deliver the mail; air traffic controllers make the skies safer; Census Bureau provides vital statistics to businesses; V.A. and other government medical centers provide health care to our veterans; the Corps of Engineers secures our dams and prevent floods in our communities; and, the Social Security Adminstration provides your grandmother's monthly check, Medicare pays her medical bills and, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission helps keep her grandchildren's toys safe.
Unfortunately, many politicians and congressional members target federal workers for cuts in pay and earned benefits as measures in a continuing fight over the federal budget. Federal employees' salaries have been frozen for nearly three (3) years, thus contributing almost $114 billion toward deficit reduction. No other workers or private sector have been singled out for shared sacrifice or similar measures.
As you encounter these federal workers in our community, I encourage you to let them know you appreciate the work they do in your behalf. We are honored to serve you.
President of Indiana Federation
National Active & Retired Federal Employees Association