WASHINGTON – National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) National President Tony Reardon called the action by the Trump Administration to freeze federal hiring “harmful and counterproductive.”
“A hiring freeze will be harmful and counterproductive, increasing backlogs, decreasing service quality and causing more frustration for Americans seeking help from their government,” said Reardon. “Our government depends upon highly-trained and experienced federal workers being able to carry on with their important work. This puts up a substantial roadblock for agencies.”
“Arbitrary cuts will leave agencies scrambling to serve the public. A hiring freeze takes away the agencies’ ability to make strategic decisions about their workforce,” said Reardon. “The American people rely on the work that federal workers do to protect our food, medicines, our air and water, to safeguard our nuclear weapons and our economy, to assist the most vulnerable senior citizens and young children, and to ensure taxpayers have the help they need.”
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reviewed a series of hiring freezes and concluded that they disrupted agency operations and diminished federal oversight of programs.
A hiring freeze would have the opposite impact than intended and would decrease transparency, efficiency and accountability in the federal government. The loss of mission-critical skills, exacerbated by an impending retirement wave, is also a looming danger.
“Attrition is already taking a heavy toll at many federal agencies as employees depart and there is no replacement to take on the work. Freezing federal hiring could lead to disastrous short-term and long-term impacts and the American people will suffer,” said Reardon. “Many of our agencies are already experiencing severe staffing shortages as a result of budget cuts and sequestration.”
NTEU represents 150,000 employees in 31 agencies and departments.