As the National Field Representative for NTEU Chapter 254, I am fortunate to enjoy so many aspects of my job –assisting employees to better their working conditions, working with all of you to come up with forward-thinking ideas to advance the FDA’s mission, negotiating better arrangements both locally and nationally so that you receive the professional treatment you deserve, just to name some. One distinct pleasure was to see NTEU National President Tony Reardon in action with our employees in Dallas, and to hear so many of you voice to him your ideas, concerns, frustrations, and dedication to your federal service.
As you know, the Dallas District office is moving next year, and this has rightfully caused so many of us to wonder what lies in store, what management isn’t telling us, and how we can ensure that our voices and our wishes are heard. NTEU Chapter 254 President David Arvelo thought that this office move was impetus enough to invite President Reardon from Washington, D.C., to come down to Dallas to hear first-hand from all of you. Sure enough, just weeks later, we found ourselves discussing both the short-term office move issues, and longer-term existential issues about federal service and the FDA’s mission with our National President. While the turkey and stuffing sandwiches didn’t hurt, the best part of the visit was Tony’s chat with dozens of Dallas District employees throughout the day. He also met with local management to discuss our expectations for both the upcoming move and the labor-management relationship generally.
While I have no doubt that Tony Reardon’s perspective benefits from his review of Agency-head directives, OPM memoranda, Congressional proposals and votes, and other newsworthy sources, it is his opportunity to meet face-to-face with all of you which is most valuable in assessing how our union can best represent your interest in leading a productive, rewarding, and enjoyable professional life. Thank you to all of you who were able to attend, and especially to our many NTEU members whose support makes our representation possible.