NASA’s bureaucracy marches on: The staff at NASA headquarters today voted to unionize.
“This successful vote will allow us to work with management to improve working conditions for NASA support and administrative staff here at NASA headquarters, thereby improving operations, saving money, and retaining an engaged and professional workforce,” said Tifarah Thomas, a program specialist within NASA’s Office of the Chief Health & Medical Officer. Professional support specialists at NASA headquarters include budget analysts, policy analysts, administrative specialists, secretaries, and others.
NHPA currently represents nearly 200 engineers and scientists at NASA in Washington. The combined unit, including the professional support specialists who voted today for IFPTE representation, will now represent more than 500 workers at the headquarters of America’s space agency. IFPTE also represents engineers and scientists at NASA labs and research facilities from coast-to-coast.
Anyone with the slightest objectivity knows that the working conditions for federal employees in Washington is glorious, with pay about double what everyone else in the country makes and benefits far exceeding even the best private packages. In addition, the hours are great and just slightly longer than what my generation would have called bankers’ hours. Moreover, if I can be blunt, these engineers are mostly paper pushers. They are not the one’s designing and building anything that might fly in space. Their only reason to unionize now is because they see a threat to their cushy jobs with the advent of private space and are organizing to secure their unneeded positions.