DoD analysts and former officials are recommending direct hiring and pay authority over civilian Pentagon workers.
A new bill that would limit how much time doctors, nurses and other employees at the Veterans Affairs Department could spend on union business has support now from VA itself. The department said having its employees spend 100 percent of their hours on official time is “necessary, reasonable and in the public’s best interest.”
The Environmental Protection Agency faces a 31 percent cut to its budget, a number that agency advocates say will harm the workforce and public health.
President Donald Trump offered a first look at his upcoming management agenda in the 2018 budget blueprint. The agenda will focus on eliminating agency reporting requirements on IT, acquisition, human capital and real property and letting “managers manage.” It also suggests the budget and reorganization executive order initiatives will drive future agency workforce cuts.
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said proposed budget reductions for agencies such as EPA or HUD are based on the administration’s goals and priorities, and leaders at those agencies will be able to decide how best to address smaller budgets.
Two lawmakers have introduced legislation that would leverage pensions and benefits in an effort to reign in use of official time and has resulted in hours of debate and a deeper divide over the subject of unions.
Proposed budget cuts to civilian agencies in fiscal 2018 may mean that the Social Security Administration will have to issue furlough notices to its employees. A union that represents SSA field operations and phone service center employees said the agency’s workforce could see five days of furloughs for every 1 percent cut to the Social Security administration budget.
Significant cuts to EPA’s state programs and workforce have sent agency executives and employees’ unions scrambling to get a better understanding of what direction the Trump administration wants to take the department.
Some advocates of the House Veterans Affairs Committee’s new employee accountability bill say it’s different enough from previous attempts to tackle this issue and should assuage past concerns. But others fear the legislation revives familiar worries.
A recent Government Accountability Office report on the Veterans Affairs Department and its employees’ use of official time is renewing a debate among lawmakers: Does official time have a place within agency operations, and how much time is too much?
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ federal workforce subcommittee said it’s on a fact-finding mission this year. Subcommittee Chairman James Lankford (R-Okla.) said he wants to hear from federal managers about the existing authorities and processes that make their jobs more difficult.
Congress called in outside experts to find out just what can improve the agency, so the incoming administrator will have some guidance in improving the agency.
J. David Cox, national president of AFGE, joins host Derrick Dortch on this week’s Fed Access to discuss federal workers will be affected by pay and hiring freezes imposed by President Donald Trump. February 3, 2017
President Donald Trump signed a memorandum Monday implementing a federal hiring freeze. It prevents agencies from making most new hires and prevents them from filling vacant positions. It does not apply to military or national security positions.
Veterans service organizations and the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents roughly 230,000 employees at the Veterans Affairs Department, say the President-elect’s nominee to lead the agency is a pleasant surprise. Dr. David Shulkin, the current VA undersecretary for health, should give the agency some continuity during the transition, they said.