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May 2020

SPOKANE CHAPTER 32 NEWSLETTER

Published Monthly except July and August

www.narfespokane.org

20 - 05 Advocates for Current and Former Federal Employees May 2020

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Scott Robinson

Here we are still living with the consequences of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Governor Inslee may extend his Stay Home, Stay Healthy order after May 4. Virginia’s Governor also extended his stay-home order, which consequently means NARFE headquarters’ building will remain closed through June 10. However, FEDcon20 in Scottsdale, AZ is still scheduled to occur, and early registration was extended until May 1. Our chapter will not meet until Darcy’s will once again offer in-house dining. Therefore, we won’t see each other until after our normal summer break during July and August. Please stay tuned for details regarding our garage sale in July and rest-stop fundraiser in October. Therefore, I encourage everyone to read this newsletter and our chapter’s webpage for the latest, UpToDate information. Because most all of us are in the high-risk age group, we all should practice staying home, staying a safe distance, and frequently washing our hands to live a longer, healthy life. I hope to see all of you the next time we meet. Anyone with questions can either call (208-661-7695) or email me at scottsoriole@q.com.

The 2020 election cycle for NARFE officers kicked off with candidate statements in the March issue of NARFE Magazine. Information on bylaws amendments and resolutions will follow in the June/July 2020 issue of NARFE Magazine, and the ballot will be included in the August 2020 issue. Members can review the candidate statements and get more information about the 2020 NARFE election timeline on the web at www.narfe.org/2020balloting.

We celebrate Public Service Recognition Week of May 3-9 to honor all public servants on social media.


DATES FOR YOUR CALENDAR

Due to the present health situation all Meetings are cancelled until further notice.

LEGISLATION Roger Bosky

Public Service

As we prepare to celebrate National Public Service Recognition week, my heart and esteem go out to those public servants who spoke truth to power as they carried out their constitutional duties. Their efforts were rewarded with humiliation and loss of jobs. Now, once again, public servants are being asked to serve on the front lines as the COVID-19 virus rages across the country. As I write this, I learned that a Federal vaccine doctor believes that he was ousted from his job for questioning the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine.


TSA screeners, VA nurses and doctors, postal workers, border patrol agents, security guards, and many others come in contact with the public in carrying out their duties and may be exposed to the virus. And, many workers use locker rooms and showers where person-to-person contact requirements cannot be followed. Workers have died.


The Government response to worker concerns has been mixed. The VA, for example, has required workers to continue working after exposure to the virus and until they have symptoms. Or else they are AWOL. The VA chief has acknowledged that there is a shortage of protective equipment for its hospital workers. On the other hand, strong efforts have been made to allow teleworking, where possible. There has also been discussion of bonuses for front-line workers and additional sick leave.


Now, there is strong pressure to return to normal and bring all employees back to work. Let us hope that this can be done safely. My concern is that in view of the administration’s abdication of leadership to the States, how will this situation work for national programs?

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

PROGRAM Louise Soles

Who would have ever thought the world could get so upside down! Seems I have a tendency to want to be reclusive and it takes some effort talking myself into getting out and about and being social. Now I find myself lamenting the loneliness caused by "social distancing" and self-isolation. Sheesh. I do miss all my friends, but we all know that "This too shall pass". God willing, it be over soon.


Editor’s Note – Louise is stepping down as our Program Chair after many years of providing outstanding speakers for our Chapter Meetings. We want to wish Louise success in her future endeavors and hope to see her at our meetings, when they begin again.

President Scott Robinson is looking for a replacement for Louise, so if you are interested, or know someone, please contact Scott.

MEMBERSHIP Sandy Cook

What started out with 14 people in 1921 grew to 491,000 in the mid-eighties. Since then it has dwindled somewhat, but the mission is still relevant.


Here is a copy of NARFE's mission statement:


NARFE Mission Statement:

• To support legislation beneficial to current and potential federal annuitants and to oppose legislation contrary to their interests.

• To promote the general welfare of current and potential federal annuitants by advising them with respect to their rights under retirement laws and regulations.

• To cooperate with other organizations and associations in furtherance of these general objectives.

This mission is critical and timely as Congress and the administration consider unprecedented cuts to federal pay and benefits. Each new member strengthens the message to Congress and makes our national outreach stronger. It also shows NARFES resolve in maintaining a strong and effective federal workforce.


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