VA Leader Exempts Many Jobs from Federal Hiring Freeze

The Department of Veterans Affairs will exempt many health care and other positions from a temporary federal hiring freeze, according to a memorandum issued Friday by acting VA Secretary Robert Snyder.

President Donald Trump on Monday announced that federal agencies cannot fill open positions or create new ones for 90 days, until the Office of Management and Budget can devise a long-term plan to cut the federal workforce through attrition

The presidential memo states there could be exemptions for jobs necessary for national security or public safety, and Snyder announced Tuesday that he intended to exempt some positions.

Those positions were not clear until Friday, when Snyder released a list of exempt jobs.

The VA has about 2,300 openings posted on a federal website. The office of Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., the top Democrat on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, said the agency has 45,000 vacancies.

Read entire Stars and Stripes article.

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IAM to Host Guide Dogs 5K at Winpisinger Center

Bring the family out to the IAM No Joke April Fools 5K Walk/Run for a morning of running, walking, food and fun, while bringing freedom and mobility to the visually impaired by raising money for Guide Dogs of America .

The April 1, 2017 event will be a perimeter trail run held at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Hollywood, MD. The race is not a timed event, with prizes awarded to the top overall male and female finishers.

Download and mail in an entry form or you can register online .

Share the event on Facebook and let your friends know you’re attending.

All proceeds will benefit Guide Dogs of America, which is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. GDA is dedicated to its mission to provide guide dogs and instruction in their use, free of charge, to blind and visually impaired men and women from the United States and Canada so that they may continue to pursue their goals with increased mobility and independence.

Click here if you would like to Sponsor the No Joke April Fools 5K.

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Union Membership Equals Higher Wages, BLS Report Again Shows

The most recent annual Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report on union membership shows that median weekly earnings for full-time nonunion workers were only 80 percent of earnings for unionized workers.

Click here to the BLS’s 2016 median weekly earnings chart.

Although overall union membership is down, big business and its legislative allies cannot hide is the fact that union members make more money. The report also shows that public sector workers have the highest rate of union membership.

The attack on working-class Americans has escalated with many states implementing corporate driven right-to-work-for-less laws. Unions and their supporters have found themselves fighting a war on two fronts. Even with the ceaseless effort to ram these anti-union laws down our throats, millions of working people across the country continue to make their voices heard.

“The truth is, collective action in America is stronger than ever,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “We’ve seen the source of our power in defeating the TPP, even when most people told us we couldn’t. We’ve seen it in successfully raising wages at the state and local levels against great political odds.”

Read: What the BLS Union Numbers Don’t Tell You About People Organizing and Collective Action

Click here to read the BLS news release on 2016 union membership .

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