However did America function before the EPA? EPA employees have and aree killing hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country and we’re supposed to weep because they get paid to stay home a few days?
The media release is below.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Oct. 1, 2013
Contact: Karen S. Kellen
Statement from EPA employee union on government shutdown
DENVER – American Federation of Government Employees Council 238 President Karen S. Kellen today issued the following statement on the government shutdown and its impact on employees at the Environmental Protection Agency:
“Most of the federal government is closing today because Congress failed to approve a budget for the new fiscal year. Most of EPA’s employees throughout the country, thousands of which are represented by AFGE Council 238, will be sent home today for an indeterminate period of time. A few will continue to work, but without the certainty of a paycheck in a timely manner.
“EPA employees serve a vital role in this country. They protect our drinking water, clean up polluted rivers, maintain the quality of the air that we breathe and protect the land that we live upon. But they also respond when disasters hit our country. EPA employees were there when America responded to Hurricane Katrina, they were there when the Deep Water Horizon exploded in the gulf, they responded to Superstorm Sandy, and today in northern Colorado they are working on flood recovery.
“Even today, as most EPA employees are locked out of their offices, prohibited from doing the important work of the American public, some employees will continue to assist flood ravaged communities so that they can once again have clean, safe drinking water and fully functioning bathrooms. They are helping these communities put the essentials in place so that they can begin to rebuild.
“But they will not have the support of their colleagues in the office, because they have been sent home to wait, wait for Congress to do its job and fund the government.
“These same employees have already suffered through furloughs due to sequestration during the previous year, losing 55 hours of pay. This lock down comes on top of three years without raises and an unrelenting attack from virulent anti-government forces. These employees just want to do their jobs of protecting the health of the American public. But there are those in Congress who do not want government to be effective or efficient. There are those who do not want the EPA to exist and are happy to shut our hard working employees out of their jobs, at least until disaster strikes in their area.
“These same deficit hawks, who have slashed EPA’s budget causing last year’s furloughs, do not think twice about the hundreds of millions of dollars wasted every time the government prepares for a shut down. Many millions more will be wasted by this lock out of government workers and the inevitable costs to resume its functions. These actions do not promote an efficient workforce, they do not provide the American taxpayers with the value that they deserve from their public servants. But this is not the fault of these federal workers, but of their elected officials who refuse to simply fund the government. Fund it without any special riders or demands unrelated to the work of most of these employees. The dedicated employees of the EPA and other federal agencies should not be held hostage to Congress’ attempt to stop the Affordable Care Act. The work of the government must be funded and the House can repeal ACA another 40 times after we are back at work.
“Congress cannot balance the budget on the back of federal workers. Federal workers have already given up billions of dollars in deficit reductions. Congress needs to pass a new federal budget, stop the lock out of federal workers and pay these workers for the time lost because of their intransience. “
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.