FELLOW FMA MEMBER SPEAKS TO THE VACAVILLE REPORTER ABOUT THE IMPACT OF SEQUESTRATION - March 16, 2013
By Dave Garrison, Chapter 167 Vice-President
With sequestration looking like a seemingly unstoppable force, I wonder what the general public actually feels about it. If you are a federal employee, you know all too well that you have not had a pay raise of any kind in four years. You're also painfully aware that for almost a 6-month period, you will lose 20 percent of your pay -- pay that has already been stagnant for four years.
The public at large will likely say that this is exactly what we deserve. Those overpaid, underworked, conference partying, do-nothing federal employees are getting exactly what they deserve. That is because, to the general public, federal employees are the champagne guzzling GSA boss in a hot tub on the government dime. That has become our public image ... that defines our identity to America.
As a federal manager and a federal employee for 41 years, I can tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. Working for the Department of Defense at Travis Air Force Base, what I see are hard-working, dedicated, highly skilled employees go the extra mile every single day for the "mission."
Every crisis, tragedy, battle, war or national emergency, we are there. Recently, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, we were asked to generate a C-5B in 12 hours to get the PG&E trucks and equipment to the affected area; an almost impossible task. From coordinating flight crews, to making an aircraft airworthy, to loading critical equipment to launching a mission. We were there. We did just as we were asked and shortly thereafter, President Obama was holding up a picture of a Travis AFB C-5 for a photo opp while expounding on our nation's readiness and quick response. We were there.