NTEU is making sure the perspective of front-line federal employees is heard as Congress begins to examine the administration’s plan to reorganize portions of the federal government.
National President Tony Reardon today submitted a statement to a House committee for a hearing on the administration’s plan to reshuffle agency programs. He emphasized that the proposal requires specific details and congressional approval before it can be implemented.
Specifically, the proposals impact NTEU-represented employees at Health and Human Services, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Energy, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. While the plan calls for consolidating certain offices and programs, it did not propose any specific measures to eliminate jobs.
In addition, the report proposes to break apart the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), moving core employee policy decisions to the White House. OPM’s independent authority over the career civil service-and employing agency human resources’ actions and decisions-must be maintained to preserve the merit system.
NTEU also voiced concern that the proposal could increase outsourcing of government work to the private sector when federal employees continue to be more efficient and effective when given the proper resources.
While NTEU supports efforts to reduce government inefficiencies, reform efforts without employee involvement will fail. When the administration instructed agencies to formulate reorganization plans, NTEU submitted suggestions from members to agency heads. NTEU barely got a response from agencies and was not consulted about proposals they submitted to the Office of Management and Budget.
Reardon took the opportunity to share NTEU’s recommendations with lawmakers, which include increasing telework to reduce real estate costs, consolidating management layers, hiring more support staff, and filling existing vacancies.
NTEU will work closely with allies on Capitol Hill to ensure members are not harmed should these proposals take effect. While NTEU is closely monitoring the plan and working to get more details, it’s a lost opportunity and does nothing to address real problems at federal agencies, such as chronic underfunding and understaffing.