Arnold Scott, National Vice President of the American Federation of Government Employees District 6 spoke with America’s Work Force Radio Podcast on July 15 about the AFGE roadmap for successful government operation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Scott mentioned that the federal government has remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic despite the United States having the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths.
With the government remaining open and operational many AFGE members throughout different agencies have become “frontline workers.” Despite the pandemic, these employees have worked diligently to ensure the government remains functional for those in need of its services.
Scott later summarized the AFGE testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations. In the testimony, the AFGE laid out a 10-step roadmap for successful government operations in a safe manner for the public and those working.
The AFGE listed the following steps as part of their plan:
Premium pay for front-line workers
Automatic presumption of workplace illness for workers’ compensation purposes.
Adequate Personal Protection Equipment
Telework for eligible employees
Temporary OSHA standard to protect workers.
Emergency paid sick leave
Universal testing and contact tracing.
Equal rights for the federal workforce.
FEHB enrollment opportunity
Restoration of labor-management relations.
Scott then discussed the 13,000 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) employees who received a furlough notice. The AFGE has asked lawmakers to provide $1.2 billion of emergency funds to avoid the furloughs.
Lastly, Scott reminded listeners about the importance of the census.
Josh Hodges of the National Council on Aging (NCOA) spoke about programs the council offers to help older Americans with finances, navigating the web and eligible benefits.
Hodges introduced Boost Your Budget Week, a campaign to help older Americans understand what benefits they are eligible for that may increase their budgets. He added that millions of dollars in benefits go unclaimed every year and these benefits can help improve the lives of the elderly.
Finally, Hodges encouraged all older listeners to visit www.ncoa.org/boost to find out which financial benefits they are eligible for.