June 2020

Updated: Sep 4, 2020


Published Monthly except July and August

20 - 06 Advocates for Current and Former Federal Employees June 2020


Jen Ballantyne is an Elder Law Attorney who spoke at one of our luncheon meetings. She shared the following story of Carlyn Morisset with Louise Soles, who then shared with me. Now, I want to share Carlyn’s story with the members of Spokane Chapter 32. Although Carlyn may not have attended our meetings, she was certainly one of us in spirit and purpose.

"One of the great things that came from the NARFE opportunity was meeting a little spitfire of a woman who was ahead of her time. Carlyn Morisset and I (Jen) became friends and I helped her get her legal and financial affairs in order. She passed away at age 97 on March 12 and now I am settling her estate.

Carlyn was an Army nurse during WWII. She went to UW for Bachelor's and Master's degrees in nursing and healthcare administration. Carlyn joined the Army Reserves in 1958 and retired as a Colonel in 1982. She worked for over 40 years for the VA as a nurse and in nursing administration. When she retired, Carlyn took her sick pay and traveled on an 80-day cruise around the world. She lived the last ten years of her life at Providence Emilie Court.

I (Jen) know that NARFE was particularly important to Carlyn, although I don't think she was able to attend many meetings near the end of her life. I wanted to make sure someone in the local organization knew about Carlyn's loss. Can you please pass this information along for me to the appropriate people?"

I wish to announce that Chris Smith and Joanne Welch (NPS Anchorage) will be Program Co-chairs for Spokane Chapter 32. Thank you, Louise, for all of your years of doing this job.


Due to the present health situation all Meetings

are cancelled until further notice.



We are all a little anxious. We miss meeting with our friends, or groups, and churches. We want to get back to our usual routines. Going shopping should not be an adventure! We are being urged to get out of the house.

The rush to normalcy entails the risk of danger to Federal employees. 126 workers have died of COVID-19. The recovery process has been infected with politicization. We realize that it is important to keep our economy churning. But how do we balance the economy versus the risk of contagion? We need vigilant and cautious calibrated plans. We are getting a hodgepodge.

This brings up a second point. The Federal government has abdicated its role in bringing us back to normal. OMB guidance asks agencies to adopt a mission focused strategy in consultation with State and local governments to decide when and how to reopen. If we are truly waging a war on this pandemic, this is like asking State militias to fight World War II.

A further point is that agencies may lack personal protective equipment. Only 40% of the 30% of federal workers on the front line say that they have the resources necessary to stay safe. Is the Federal government going to help or are the State, regions, and districts going to negotiate for what they need? We also have a piecemeal approach to bringing employees back to work.

The House of Representatives has offered several measures in support of workers, including additional sick leave for workers sick or exposed to the virus and up to 10 thousand dollars in premium for hazardous duty.

CALL TO ACTION: Another positive development is the progress of a Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) bill (H.R.141) in the House, which now has 245 sponsors. If that number reaches 290, then it must go to the whole House for a vote. Our representative is not yet on board as a co-sponsor. Give her a call to join the bandwagon.

NOTICE: Washington State Federation has a new website. The address is –

PROGRAM Chris Smith and Joanne Welch

Due to the COVID – 19 the Chapter Meetings are cancelled.


Washington State Federation (WSF) update: The WSF held a board meeting on Thursday, May 21st. During the meeting it was announced that the National FEDcom 2020 conference has been cancelled. Elections and bylaw changes will be voted on in August 2020.