Hon. John Kerry
United States Senate
Dear Senator Kerry:
I am writing to bring to your attention the ways that the Bush Administration has already begun to erode the rights of federal workers and to urge you to stop them from doing any more damage.
As you are aware, the Administration was able to create the Department of Homeland Security through legislation that stripped workers of their previously existing civil service protections and denied them the collective bargaining rights enjoyed by other federal employees. We now realize that this was only the beginning of the attack on federal workers as they now have announced intentions to do the same to employees at the Department of Defense and will probably move on to the rest of the government agencies.
Civil service protections allow government workers to do their jobs without worrying about being fired, transferred or demoted at the whim of a partisan administration. Politics and partisanship belong at the level of policy decision making; but once the decisions are made, the administration of those policies should be non-political. Civil service protections take the partisanship out of government work. If federal workers are denied civil service protections and their jobs are at greater risk to politicization, it will also accelerate the “brain drain” from federal service as more experienced workers will be more likely to look elsewhere for work.
Additionally, it is important that workers have their union to represent them before management and Congress—to pursue positive working conditions, and to expose fraud, waste and mismanagement. It is also true that many of our union leaders have developed a good partnership with management and members of Congress to ensure a protected and productive federal workplace. The representation that federal workers get through their unions ensures that their rights are protected on the job and that the contracts we work under are adhered to.
On behalf of the all of the federal workers who live in your district and, like you, work to serve the U.S. taxpayer, I urge you to stop the assault on our rights.