AFL-CIO Analysis of President Donald Trump’s FY 2018 Budget

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka made the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s proposed budget:

 “Working people in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin didn’t vote for a budget that slashes workforce training and fails to invest in our nation’s infrastructure. President Trump’s proposed budget attempts to balance the budget on the backs of working families. The $54 billion cut to programs that benefit working families is dangerous and destructive. Huge cuts to the departments of Labor, Education and Transportation will make workplaces less safe, put more children at risk and make improving our failing infrastructure much more difficult. The administration can and should do better.”

 The budget abandons the future—slashing investments in workers, communities, young people, protecting our environment and building democracy. There are major cuts in job training, education, health programs, the environment, the arts and foreign aid. Research programs in science and medicine are slashed. Sixty-two government programs/agencies are slated for elimination.

Here are some key highlights:

Department of Labor: Overall cut $2.5 billion (-20.7%)
The budget makes it harder for workers to get the training they need in order to advance in their industry and to compete globally.

  • Major cuts:
    • Job training/employment/re-employment
    • Senior Community Service Employment Program eliminated
    • Job Corps
    • Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) grants eliminated
    • Safety and health training grants eliminated

Department of Health and Human Services: Overall cut $12.6 billion (-16.2%)

People suffering from terminal diseases will be affected by lack of new medicines, and low-income workers will not receive assistance to heat their homes during the cold months of winter.

  • Cuts National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding by 18.3% (-$5.8 billion)
  • Eliminates the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which provides assistance to help low-income people heat and cool their homes
  • Eliminates $403 million in health professions and nursing training programs
  • Restructures the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and directs money to states through block grants
  • Increases funding for opioid prevention and treatment services by $500 million

Department of Education: Overall cut $9.2 billion (-13.5%)

This budget would destroy public schools and eliminate much-needed training for teachers. It also makes it harder for young people to go to college.

  • Increases funding for school choice by $1.4 billion
    • Redirects $418 million to private/charter schools
    • Eliminates $2.4 billion for Supporting Effective Instruction state grants
    • Reduces or eliminates funding for teacher-preparation programs (State Teacher Quality/Supporting Effective Instruction grants)
    • Eliminates federal funding for before- and after-school and summer-school programs
    • Eliminates the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program, which provides grants for students with the greatest need

Department of State: Overall cut $10.9 billion (-28.7%)

The budget would harm workers around the world who are standing up to multinational corporations and repressive governments that restrict workers’ rights and lower wages.

  • Cuts funding for U.N. programs
  • Reorganizes and consolidates U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programs

Department of Treasury: Overall cut of $0.5 billion (-4.4%)

These cuts allow the super-wealthy and corporations to get away with not paying taxes and allow big banks to crush small community banks.

  • Cuts IRS by $239 million
  • Eliminates funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund

Department of Transportation: Overall cut $2.4 billion (-12.7%)

This will mean less investment in railroads and airlines at a time when our nation has an infrastructure deficit of over $4 trillion.

  • Privatizes air traffic control 
  • Restructures and cuts federal subsidies for Amtrak
  • Cuts funding for the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grant Program

Commerce: 
This will mean more resources to enforce our nation’s trade laws. Our current trade policy has put corporations ahead of workers—resulting in jobs shipped overseas and lower wages.

  • Strengthens International Trade Administration’s trade enforcement/compliance assistance
  • Eliminates the Economic Development Administration, the Minority Business Development Agency and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership

Environmental Protection Agency: Overall cut $2.6 billion (-31.4%)

These cuts will make our drinking water less safe and our air more toxic. 

  • Claims to maintain funding for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure
  • Discontinues funding for Clean Power Plan
  • Reduces funding for Superfund cleanup
  • Eliminates 50 EPA programs
  • Cuts enforcement programs

Veterans Affairs: Overall increase $4.4 billion (+6.0%)

These funds provide much-needed resources for our nation’s veterans.

  • $4.6 billion increase for VA health care to improve access and timeliness of medical service
  • $3.5 billion in mandatory budget authority to extend and fund the Veterans Choice Program, which provides the option to see a private provider. The program was set to expire in August 2017.

Selected programs proposed for elimination

The budget targets for elimination arts and music programs and legal aid for the poor. Planning a future for the communities of Appalachia and protection from hazardous chemicals are also on the chopping block.

  • Appalachian Regional Commission
  • Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program
  • Chemical Safety Board
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • Legal Services Corporation
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)

***

Reposted from the AFL-CIO.

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From AFL-CIO

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

More ...

There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work