The National Treasury Employees Union is tired of the bad rap federal employees have been taking of late and has gone on the offensive with a new set of radio and television public announcements.

“When you stop and think about the innumerable ways federal employees work to improve the quality of life in America, it is hard to comprehend why they have recently been the target of harmful attacks,” said NTEU National President, Colleen M. Kelley.

There’s little question that the overheated rhetoric about government spending and the looming deadline to resolve the federal debt-limit dilemma has resulted in knee-jerk reaction to cut the federal workforce.

“These cuts not only impact federal employees, but they pose serious – and unacceptable – consequences for the American public,” Kelley said in a message appearing on the union’s website. “Slashing agency funding or the number of federal workers would mean fewer food safety inspections, less secure borders, threats to the security of our savings and investments, and diminished services for veterans, the elderly and the disabled.”

The first message, titled “Oath“, features NTEU members describing their work against a backdrop of the oath of office sworn to by every federal employee. The second message, titled, “Who Can We Turn To“, portrays the work of federal employees told through the eyes of Americans.

The messages are aimed at giving Americans pause, said Kelley, to “consider who federal employees are. They defy old, unfair stereotypes. They are scientists, accountants, doctors, lawyers, computer specialists, law enforcement officers and other highly-trained specialists.”

The new campaign comes on the heals of mounting concern by federal employees and the associations that represent them, about the their fate–and the potential impact on their salaries and benefits– in the event Congress is unable to resolve the looming debt ceiling crises. Last week, a coalition of more than 20 groups representing 4.6 million federal and postal workers and annuitants federal employees sought specific answers to those questions in a letter to Office of Management and Budget Director, Jacob Lew and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.