Of the hundreds of NTEU chapters around the country, among the many departments and agencies whose employees we represent, NTEU Chapter 254 in FDA is one of the fastest growing, most dynamic and exciting chapters in NTEU. With over 30% growth in membership over the past couple of years, we are increasing in strength and our voices are getting ever louder, from Albuquerque to St. Louis, from Salt Lake City to Oklahoma City, from Omaha to Houston, and everywhere in between. As the National Field Representative for this Chapter, I offer my outsider’s perspective on its impressive growth – and why, if you’re one of the shrinking group of employees who haven’t yet, you should get on board this moving train before it pulls out of the station.
In recent months, this Union has succeeded in fighting for your right to telework, voicing your concerns about working conditions to the Agency (including for a remodel in Des Moines, laboratory construction in Jefferson, and storm-related renovations in Laredo), and ensuring the smoothest transition possible for all of us during ORA Program Alignment. We continue to be your mouthpiece when you need representation, and your earpiece when you need advice and resources about your experience as an FDA employee. From offering lunch presentations about the future of the federal workforce, to meeting with the congressional delegations from the 10 states of Chapter 254’s footprint, to ensuring that each and every one of you has access to the work schedule that fits your professional needs, it is our mission to help you successfully navigate your FDA career in this precarious time.
We simply cannot do it without the support of our bargaining unit employees, and I would like to thank the hundreds of you who have chosen to be a part of this Union. I firmly believe that the small amount of dues you contribute to allowing the Union to represent our collective and individual interests is greatly eclipsed by the benefits of membership – access to information about the future of the Agency, assistance with non-representative matters such as travel time inquiries or assistance with government forms, the ability to participate in employee viewpoint surveys that go a long way toward informing the Union of how best to focus on the issues that matter most to all of you, and much more. I am pleased that so many of you agree that membership is a wise return on investment.
With our growth over the past couple of years, the Agency has taken notice, and we are beginning to enjoy more and more success representing your interests, because Management knows that this Union speaks for more and more members every day. I urge those of you who haven’t joined to consider membership, to consider joining so many of your fellow Investigators, Analysts, and Support Professionals who chose to join the Union and never looked back.
Think about that. Not only did hundreds of you choose to join initially, but hundreds of you continue on as proud members of Chapter 254.
Of the many NTEU chapters in HHS, including many FDA-only chapters, ours has become the bellwether for membership growth and potential. The working conditions within our chapter are already starting to improve compared to others. Let’s continue to grow, and have an active and powerful voice to make your working conditions better!