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Voices Question

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Public Employees: Do you think it is important for public employees to contact their elected officials about funding for public services? Why or why not?

Comments: 96

ABSOLUTELY! As citizens and taxpayers we have an interest in ensuring that critical services are provided to meet the ever-changing needs of the public. Decision-makers also need to hear from public employees - the very same people who provide those services - about the most cost-effective and efficient ways to deliver those services. Public employee unions and their members play a vital leadership role, working with our partners in progressive coalitions, to ensure that the voice of the working class and lower-income, vulnerable groups is heard as a counterbalance to corporations and the wealthy.

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Michael Tracy-Ireland
Public Employees Federation
Schenectady, NY

Yes, I think it is important for public employees to contact their elected officials about funding for public services. First, know one understands the impact and intricacies involved in delivering the services as the public employee working in that area. Second, the employees are voters and taxpayers giving their voice real meaning. Last but not least, it is their livelihood and community they are protecting by educating the elected officials. If they fail to step up to the plate then they will have to live with the uneducated decisions made by others.

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Jennifer Geary
8050
Anchorage, AK

Yes. Public employees have a unique vantage point and know firsthand how public funding can impact services for the community. As an employee at a public state college, the decrease in state support has resulted in higher tuition and fees for students and a reduction in the workforce through attrition. Staffing reductions result in a potential decrease in the quality of service offered to students and other stakeholders in higher education. Public employees are taxpayers and voters; like any citizen they can and should make their voices heard.

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Shana Murrell
Professioanl Staff Association at Rhode Island College
Providence, RI

Yes I do. Public employees are both taxpayers and consumers. We generally have more direct knowledge of public works: more than elected officials and more than taxpayers who are not public employees. In short, our opinions or insights can be more informed because this is our work.

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Edward Fludd
Maryland Professional Employees Council
Montgomery Village, MD

If we do nothing, the corporations win and we will lose everything that workers throughout history have fought hard for, and America will lose services that people take for granted and depend on. So young and old need to fight back for the America we all want and what the rest of the world's workers deserve.

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William Glover
Kansas State University Employees Association
Manhattan, KS

You would be foolish if you did not. The greatest weakness from my perspective is the unwillingness of public employees to advocate with those who make the decisions regarding thier wages, benefits, and working conditions. Many states such as Missouri lack real bagaining laws. The only avenue left is to "influence" those who make those decisions, directly. A robust interaction with elected officials is the best way to protect and enhance your position for both you and the constituency you serve.

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Raymond Tretter
Missouri Federation of State Employees
St. Louis, MO

Absolutely. Public employees are on the front lines. They see first hand what really happens with public budgets and where money is well spent and where it is wasted. Often times, however, public employees are silenced by the people they work for for fear of retribution....

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John Stewart
Keene Police Officers Association
Keene, NH

I believe we should contact officials. I was nervous the first time I did by phone. But it was pretty simple. We can just follow the e-mail suggestions to call, e-mail, or write letters to officials. If we don't speak up for ourselves, who will?? I think it is important for us to fight for our rights because we are not treated as well as we should be. I am tired of being second to faculty!

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Awana Payne
Local 1931
San Diego, CA

It's a means to influence things for the better.

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George Mata
Public Employee Federation
Albany, NY

We need to be proactive and send a clear message that election time is here, the leaders need to listen.

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Michael Elam
AFT6049
TULSA, OK

Public employees need to remind their representatives of the important work that they do and that they expect their representative to ensure that valued public services continue to be provided.

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Chris Romano
PEF
Bethpage, NY

It's vitally important to raise this concern with an elected official. How else will they know that there is a problem that needs addressing. Elected officials are not all knowing. It's up to the individual to share the concern and give voice to the matter.

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Maddie Shannon-Roberts
PEF 4053
Albany, NY

Yes. To improve on our labor contract by increasing pay and benefits, especially in areas that the workers have an employment interest and to do a good job to preclude contracting out to over paid consulting firms.

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john raffa
bklyn, NY

Yes. There are people in this state that need additional assistance and without that assistance their lives change drastically. It also gives public employees that work in those areas a little more job security. The first thing the Governor wants to do is lay off employees when funds are cut from those services.

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Sheri Vaughan
Springfield, IL

Yes, I believe they have that fundamental right to contact our elected officials on matters pertaining to federal, state, and local issues regarding funding for schools and governmental agencies. They must comply with our demands in our culture to include in academic studies, to our funding since we pay our taxes,I would fight so that our voices can be heard. If there is no voice from our contituents than everything is all right, and it would jepordize our funding towards pubic service.

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Jimmy Cruz
TX 106994
Rio Grande City, TX

We are citizens as well as current or retired public employees. We have a right and an obligation to express ourselves on all public issues.

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Paul Feingold
UFT
Brooklyn, NY

These elected officials represent us. Their decisions should represent where we believe our money and our interest should go. A good portion of the time, their votes will impact our future, and our family's future.

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Michael McCaughey
Local4700Mt Federation of State Prison Employees.
Butte, MT

Yes, but public employees or not, every person should be involved in what's important in their hometown and nation.

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Loi An Le
Brooklyn, NY

Absolutely! Public employees know best how and why our tax dollars are spent. We have been on the front lines and see first-hand....

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Win Heimer
A&R Local 4200R
West Hartford, CT

Public employess have a responsibility to contact elected officials regarding funding for public policies. In fact, it should be our duty. I wish that our union was more active in rallying members to influence and shape public policy--and the funding of necessary services.

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Lawrence Scott
Kenmore Teachers Association
Buffalo, NY

It is imperative that public employees make their voices heard to their elected officials. Who better to know what the impact on services to the public are or will be than those who provide them?

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Terry Reed
IFT
Springfield, IL

Yes, I do. Public employees know best where the money should go and why. Without that knowledge elected officials could inadvertently be swayed by others (called lobbyists) and make mistakes. I feel it is part of the responsibility, to taxpayers and their own reason for pubic service, of each employee to speak up and share their expertise.

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Jane Leatherman Van Praag
Bartlett, TX

It is essential that public employees contact their elected representatives to tell them that the public services are very necessary to their state's economy. Providing a list of public services provided may help public employees write to their legislators about more than things that readily come to mind. In NYS the Department of Agriculture and Markets inspects food in supermarkets. A safe food supply is essential to to the citizens of NYS and it also benefits all of the businesses because workers sick from bad food lose time from work. The state road system is also relied upon by businesses and citizens for work, shopping & daily living.

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Dennis Anderson
NYS P.E.F.
Ballston Lake, NY

Of course. When in the hiring process did public employees give up their rights as citizens?

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John Grzywacz-Gray
aft1835
Simi Valley, CA

It is very important for public employees to contact their elected officials about funding for public services. We, the public, are the ones affected by the actions taken by these officials. We need to voice not only our appreciation but also our concerns. How else will they really know the outcome of their actions?

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Thomas Porfirio
PEF
Schoharie, NY

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