Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Union supports effort to protect technical excellence and independence
WASHINGTON, DC - As Congress prepares to re-authorize NASA for fiscal year 2009, House Federal Workforce, Postal Service and District of Columbia Subcommittee Chairman Danny Davis and Representative Dennis Kucinich, a member of the Subcommittee, have provided their support to the Civil Servant workforce at NASA. Chairman Davis and Congressman Kucinich, through a letter to the House Science and Technology Committee, have correctly recognized the ongoing damage that the administration is inflicting on NASA's technical workforce. The administration's management agenda continues to undermine technical excellence and independence at NASA and elsewhere in the Federal Government by eliminating critical employee protections and making technical experts vulnerable to suppression and coercion.
International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) President Gregory Junemann expressed his appreciation for Chairman Davis' and Rep. Kucinich's pro-active effort to restore full protection to NASA's workforce:
"It is only because of civil-service rights, for example, that Dr. Hansen was able not to only survive intense harassment, but also to speak out publicly about the efforts of political appointees at NASA to block publication of objective data on climate change. Unfortunately, over the last 7 years, we have witnessed the disastrous consequences of the Bush administration's radical agenda to suppress and even to eliminate the voice of technical experts within the Executive Branch. We at IFPTE praise the collective leadership of Chairman Davis and Congressman Kucinich for their progressive effort to address these workforce problems at NASA. The Davis-Kucinich legislative proposals will begin the process of reversing years of neglect and damage as we move into a new Administration.
"The thousands of NASA-employed IFPTE members look forward to the inclusion of the Davis-Kucinich workforce proposals in this year's NASA re-authorization act."
The Kucinich-Davis proposals, all of which IFPTE supports, include:
The Bush Administration has abused legitimate post-911 security concerns to harass loyal long-term NASA employees who do not perform sensitive jobs, with an intrusive invasion of their private financial, medical, and personal lives without any rational link to security. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has already imposed an injunction on this process for NASA's contract workforce at the Jet Propulsion Lab. This proposal will restore the privacy rights of all NASA civil-servant employees pending judicial review.
IFPTE is NASA's largest civil-servant union, and represents upwards of 85,000 U.S. and Canadian workers in the Private, Public and Federal sectors.
// end //