National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) National President Tony Reardon supported a call by 106 members of Congress asking President-elect Donald Trump to reconsider his plan to implement an immediate federal hiring freeze.
In a letter to President-elect Trump, the representatives, led by Rep. Stephen F. Lynch (D-Mass.), warned the hiring freeze would have the opposite impact than intended and would decrease transparency, efficiency and accountability in the federal government.
The members of Congress recounted a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report which reviewed a series of hiring freezes concluding that those hiring freezes disrupted agency operations and diminished federal oversight of programs. The loss of mission-critical skills, exacerbated by an impending retirement wave, is also a looming danger.
“A hiring freeze will increase backlogs, decrease service quality and frustrate Americans seeking help from their government,” said Reardon. “Empty desks, dormant computers and ringing telephones don’t deliver vital public services and safeguard our nation, federal workers do.”
Federal workplaces are already faced with significant staffing shortages as budget cuts and sequestration cuts have taxed limited staffing resources. Over the last several decades, the size of the federal workforce has remained stagnant, while the U.S. population continues to grow.
“Freezing federal hiring could lead to disastrous short-term and long-term impacts at many agencies, as employees depart and there is no replacement to train or take on the work,” said Reardon.
NTEU represents 150,000 employees in 31 agencies and departments