And now our federal workers would like Christmas Eve off with pay

Last month we stopped by the offices of Big Federal Workers United and found out that some of their stalwart members were petitioning President Obama to ask for Black Friday off with pay as an additional federal holiday. This would be in addition to the huge number of paid holidays they already receive, along with extremely generous vacation policies and half a month of paid sick time they can use. You may recall that I took a rather dim view of the proposal, particularly in light of how they already earn more than one and a half times what their civilian counterparts bring home and are virtually impervious to job loss.

As it turns out, that didn’t happen. The President managed to ignore the request and those wishing to take the day after Thanksgiving off had to use some of their many vacation days to cover the absence. One reason might be that their petition fell short of the required 100K signatures which they would need to generate a response from the White House. In fact, they fell 92,000 signatures short. But in some small way I’d like to think that I contributed to the public awareness of the issue. The Las Vegas Review-Journal picked up my story and added in some of their own criticism.

There are more than 2.7 million federal workers. Providing another paid day off to them is a ridiculous giveaway and a slap in the face to the hard-working people who have to trudge out on Black Friday to pay for it. Federal employees want the day off with pay? Fine. They can do what every other American has to do: Take a vacation day. And while they’re at it, they can take up a more worthy cause for people who are actually in need.

I briefly wondered if the public exposure had shamed the government workers into not being quite so greedy. Sadly, my hopes were dashed and there apparently hasn’t been any sense of enlightenment dawning on the federal workers’ unions. In fact, they’re back, and now they want Christmas Eve off. (Government Executive Magazine)

It’s that time of year again: The time when federal employees beg the president to give them Christmas Eve off from work.

Two petitions published in late November on the White House’s We the People website ask President Obama for a paid holiday on Dec. 24. Christmas Day falls on Friday this year, so feds are hoping Obama will grant them an extra day off on Thursday for a four-day weekend.

“Federal employees work extremely hard year after year to carry out our mission statement as public servants,” stated the Nov. 21 petition, which so far has nearly 2,500 signatures. “Although we are a family at work, giving federal employees Christmas Eve off to spend with their families at home would not only be a wonderful gift from our president but would also boost morale in the workplace and within ourselves. We feel unappreciated with pay freezes and constant threats of government shutdowns. Being with our relatives is so important during this time and would mean everything.”

Nothing we discussed the last time this issue came up has changed. Christmas falls on Friday this year so everyone is already getting a three day weekend out of the deal. Most private sector businesses I’ve worked with have very liberal vacation policies between Christmas and New Years, so if you wanted to schedule some vacation for an extended break, I’m guessing you’d be able to do it. That might put you on more solid footing with the rest of the country (at least those lucky enough to have a job) who have to work out similar arrangements.

Oh… and Merry Christmas.

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David Strom 9:21 PM on March 24, 2023