The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union representing 670,000 federal and D.C. government workers nationwide and overseas. Workers in virtually all functions of government at every federal agency depend upon AFGE for legal representation, legislative advocacy, technical expertise and informational services.
AFGE takes seriously its responsibility to help provide good government services while ensuring that government workers are treated fairly and with dignity. The union supports a meaningful transformation of the federal workplace to improve the way services and benefits are delivered to the American public.
As a labor union, AFGE is in a unique position because it is not currently afforded the same full scope collective bargaining rights as workers in the private sector. For this reason in addition to negotiating working conditions at the bargaining table, AFGE coordinates a full-scale legislative and political action program to monitor issues that impact the government work force. When Congress debates funding of vital government programs administered to the public by government workers or tackles employee health care issues, AFGE is on the scene representing its members.
AFGE represents government workers who are the vital threads of the fabric of American life. Government employees inspect the food we eat and the places we work, they protect citizens from the illicit flow of drugs, maintain the safety of our nation's borders, care for our nation's veterans, serve as a vital link to Social Security recipients, keep the national defense systems prepared for any danger and much, much more. AFGE is proud to make America work.
Of the 1.75 million people employed by the federal government, only 250,000 are based in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. The majority work in federal offices across the nation as police officers, mechanics, lawyers, correctional officers, environmentalists, nurses, mine inspectors and more. The range of jobs performed by both D.C. and federal government employees is impressive and so is their work.
AFGE Local 1273 was officially recognized as the exclusive representative of blue-collar employees at the Boise VA in 1962, however records for "Lodge 1273" go back to the mid-1950s. In 1972 the nurses at Boise VA elected AFGE as their representative, in the 1980s the two locals were merged and the Regional Office employees joined Local 1273, and in 2011 the physicians and physician assistants at Boise VA elected Local 1273 as their exclusive representative.
The results of the 2015 All Employee Survey conducted by the Department of Veterans Affairs made it clear that our membership, those non-member employees we are required to represent and the management officials with whom we work to resolve disputes need a place to ask questions and have their questions answered. With this in mind we have created a page for frequently asked questions.