Members of NARFE chapters throughout the U.S. attended the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association's 2019 Legislative Training Conference. Among them was Bill Ketron of the Williamsburg chapter.
When he returned from the conference, which took place in Alexandria, Va., and Washington, D.C., he said he had heard a number of good things from top legislators there.
Both of Virginia's U.S. Senators, Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, Ketron said, pledged support for NARFE and Federal employees. Warner said he is sponsoring legislation to require federal employees to be paid in any future government shutdown.
Also speaking in support of federal employees were congressmen Don Beyer of Virginia as well as Jamie Raskin and Anthony G. Brown of Maryland.
Workshops, Ketron said, stressed how important it is for not only NARFE members, but for everyone, to contact their elected representatives and let them know where they stand on important issues.
Conference participants, he said, also visited Capitol Hill offices and met with top congressional staff members.
At the office of Second District Congresswoman Elaine Luria, Ketron submitted a request for Luria to support a recently introduced bill to change the way retiree cost of living allowances (COLAs) are calculated by changing to the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly, which more accurately reflects costs to the elderly for health care and other expenses than does the CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.
Ketron also discussed pending legislation and other substantive issues with staff members in Senator Warner's office.
There also was a lot of discussion and support for initiatives to improve the image of the federal civil service, Ketron said. "The consensus was that public information campaigns are needed to highlight the public service and the many vital services federal employees provide to our country."
The conference was held March 10-13, giving representatives time to form local plans for supporting Public Service Recognition week, which took place this year May 5-11.
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