4/29/08: NTEU National President Colleen Kelley this week endorsed legislation that would provide tangible encouragement to federal workers to take even-greater part in community-based volunteer efforts that benefit others.
“Federal employees are well known for their willingness to volunteer to meet community needs,” President Kelley noted. “Their on-the-ground help in the wake of Hurricane Katrina is just one example.” Another is their generosity during the government’s Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), when federal employees donate millions of dollars to a wide variety of charities nationwide and in their local communities.
“Federal employees, who have already dedicated their lives to public service, know well that volunteering is a two-way benefit. It can help meet a vital community need, and it provides an enormous sense of fulfillment and satisfaction for those engaging in it,” President Kelley said.
The measure supported by NTEU was introduced by Rep. James Moran (D-Va.) during National Volunteer Week, which runs from April 27 through May 3. This annual celebration of volunteers and the contributions they make to our communities was established by presidential executive order in 1974.
The legislation would permit federal employees to use two sick leave days each year to volunteer for qualified community service, defined as volunteer service performed for a charitable organization which is participating in the Combined Federal Campaign.
“This legislation is about providing our civil service with a benefit on par with what is being offered by some of the more desirable workplaces in the U.S.,” said Rep. Moran. “It’s not only a recruitment and retention tool, but a way to develop a happier, healthier and more highly-skilled workforce.”
President Kelley said that “NTEU frequently hears about the volunteer activities our members undertake from mentoring a grade school class to collecting toys for children during the holiday season to sending care packages to troops overseas. This bill is an easy way for the federal government to add thousands of additional volunteer hours to provide hope and assistance to members of our communities who need a hand.”
Additionally, she cited the importance of the Moran legislation in aligning the federal government with a growing trend among private sector companies, which increasingly are providing leave time for their employees to volunteer for a wide range of charitable and community-based programs, both on-going and one-time events.