“No agency that we represent should feel that its issues have been placed on the back burner—because no Chapter should feel small as long as NTEU is responsible for watching its back.”
I made this pledge four years ago, and I’m making it again four years later. It’s no less relevant. Whether you are IRS or CBP or EPA or FDIC—or any one of the 30 agencies represented by NTEU—you should be made to feel secure. Every agency deserves complete representation in spirit as well as by charter.
Currently, NTEU’s agencies are isolated from each other—by design. As a Chapter President, I have access to IRS contact information, but I have little access to other agencies. Why? Doesn’t that keep us divided?
The truth is, the experience of one union chapter can be a helpful guide to another chapter, and that cuts across agencies. I envision utilizing the know-how of professionals in every area of NTEU to help support our mission and build membership in every agency.
For the past several years, my Chapter—Chapter 247—has teamed up with CBP leaders as we made the rounds of Congress during the Legislative Conference. Visiting the Texas Congressional delegation during the Bush era was not an uplifting experience for NTEU Chapter Leaders, particularly IRS representatives. But due to their often-hazardous responsibilities, their visible patriotism, and their moving personal stories involving the denial of training, advancement, and the resources to fulfill their mission, our CBP colleagues appealed to Congresspersons from both parties, and helped us get our feet in the door. We were proud to stand next to them as they represented NTEU on Capitol Hill. But when we left Washington, we were separated again. Why?
As National President, I promise to end this deliberate separation of agencies from one another. Our leaders need to be reminded that we are a union. It’s numbers that make us strong.
To return again to one of my main campaign themes: Top-down leadership renders it impossible to give each agency the attention that it deserves. And as National President, I intend to set up a structure that ensures that no one will be soft-pedaled or glad-handed or left behind by our National Office.
A national ombudsman will be accountable for following up on issues so that no important concern can be set aside for long. I will eliminate the favoritism that has frustrated so many Chapters who have been neglected or ignored. I will not allow smaller bargaining units to receive second class service at the negotiations table, as they have in the past. I will personally commit to visiting more sites than ever before, to focus on issues and to promote membership.
My pledge to make the Field Offices more receptive to Chapter Leaders is critical for all of us serious about the mission of NTEU. If I am elected National President, I promise you—regardless of which agency you lead—we will represent! – Eddie Walker, July 26