Breaking Barriers through Unity
WASHINGTON — The government hiring freeze put in place by US President Donald Trump will apply to Department of Defense civilian positions but will not impact uniformed personnel. (See attachment for Pre. Trump Executive Order RE: Hiring Freeze)
Trump signed the hiring freeze order Jan. 23, drawing harsh criticism from both federal employee unions and members of Congress, who worry the freeze will save few dollars but create major headaches for government agencies. The freeze included an exception for national security positions, but the wording was such that it was unclear if the Pentagon was directly impacted or not.
On Wednesday, the Pentagon finally confirmed that its civilian spots would be impacted, but that Secretary of Defense James Mattis can exempt from the hiring freeze any position “that he deems necessary to meet national security or public safety responsibilities,” a DoD official told Defense News. Other exemptions must be requested from the Office of Personnel Management.
The memorandum does not impact Senate-confirmable officials, the appointment of officials to non-career positions in the Senior Executive Service or to Schedule C positions in the excepted service, the official added.
“Since January 20, 2017, and prior to our notification of the President’s Executive Order on a Federal Hiring Freeze, Washington Headquarters Service (WHS) hired 36 employees to support various functions in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD),” the official added. “Additionally, 18 political appointees have been hired thus far to support the Secretary of Defense. Political appointees are exempt from the Executive Order.”
In June, the Pentagon ended a four-month hiring freeze used to ensure personnel were reflected in an internal DoD accounting system.
The freeze also impacts the Department of Veterans Affairs. On Tuesday, acting VA Secretary Robert Snyder said his department “intends to exempt anyone it deems necessary for public safety, including front-line caregivers.”
VA officials said the statement was a clarification of how they are interpreting the new presidential order and not an attempt to get around the new rules.
Governmentwide hiring freezes were tried under the Reagan and Carter administrations, but in 1982, the Government Accountability Office found they were not an effective means of controlling federal employment and that any savings would likely be offset by overtime and part-time worker costs.
Those concerns were repeated this week by a bipartisan group of Virginia lawmakers, who represent thousands of federal workers.
“I think it’s largely symbolic,” said Virginia Democratic Rep. Don Beyer, whose district is home to 77,000 federal workers. “If you’re a Trump supporter in rural America who thinks your taxpayer dollars are being wasted by too many civilian employees, you might be thrilled by it. But they’re missing the point that we haven’t seen this few federal workers in our lifetime.”
Beyer told Defense News that the hiring freeze hurts military retirees and military spouses who hope to enter the federal workforce. It also creates management headaches at the Pentagon, where civilian support staffs have been cut progressively since federal budget caps were enacted.
“As a manager, you’re always trying to do more with less,” Beyer said. “They’ve already determined who they need to hire in a critical space, and now you’ve frozen the ability to hire those people.”
According to Beyer, upward of 221,000 people were in the pipeline to be hired governmentwide, at least a third of them veterans. He said the freeze would “greatly hurt” the VA, which is looking to hire 2,000 people to deal with backlogged cases.
Virginia Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock on Monday broke with Trump to oppose the governmentwide hiring freeze.
“The federal budget cannot be balanced on the backs of our federal workforce,” she said in a statement Monday. “I don’t support this type of across-the-board freeze and think it is better to look at priorities and areas where appropriate cuts can be made and where we can consolidate efforts or identify unnecessary costs that can be eliminated.”
Military Times reporter Leo Shane III contributed to this report.
Legislative and Political Organizer, DoD
American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO
80 F Street, NW | Washington, DC | 20001
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
January 23, 2017
Presidential Memorandum Regarding the Hiring Freeze
MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
SUBJECT: Hiring Freeze
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order a freeze on the hiring of Federal civilian employees to be applied across the board in the executive branch. As part of this freeze, no vacant positions existing at noon on January 22, 2017, may be filled and no new positions may be created, except in limited circumstances. This order does not include or apply to military personnel. The head of any executive department or agency may exempt from the hiring freeze any positions that it deems necessary to meet national security or public safety responsibilities. In addition, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) may grant exemptions from this freeze where those exemptions are otherwise necessary.
Within 90 days of the date of this memorandum, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in consultation with the Director of OPM, shall recommend a long-term plan to reduce the size of the Federal Government’s workforce through attrition. This order shall expire upon implementation of the OMB plan.
Contracting outside the Government to circumvent the intent of this memorandum shall not be permitted.
This hiring freeze applies to all executive departments and agencies regardless of the sources of their operational and programmatic funding, excepting military personnel.
In carrying out this memorandum, I ask that you seek efficient use of existing personnel and funds to improve public services and the delivery of these services. Accordingly, this memorandum does not prohibit making reallocations to meet the highest priority needs and to ensure that essential services are not interrupted and national security is not affected.
This memorandum does not limit the nomination and appointment of officials to positions requiring Presidential appointment or Senate confirmation, the appointment of officials to non-career positions in the Senior Executive Service or to Schedule C positions in the Excepted Service, or the appointment of any other officials who serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority. Moreover, it does not limit the hiring of personnel where such a limit would conflict with applicable law. This memorandum does not revoke any appointment to Federal service made prior to January 22, 2017.
This memorandum does not abrogate any collective bargaining agreement in effect on the date of this memorandum.
DONALD J. TRUMP
Christmas Party 2016 photos are up here, or by the gallery dropdown.
1-2-17 – Added 95 photos to the gallery here, and on facebook. Mostly they’re images of the dancing and ceremony. Current photos are around 240.
I’ve also created a gallery on the local1406 Facebook page here if you want to share them on facebook, currently tagging isn’t enabled but you can post a comment and I’ll tag you if you would like.
We’ll see how this works as the local1406 facebook page hasn’t been really launched or moderated before.
If you want to contact the photographer or the site admin for larger resolution photos or if I missed a photo of you or any problem please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me through my facebook page here.
Local band Blue Mountain Tribe received a NAMA award for the Best Blues Recording at the 16th annual Native American Music Awards held Saturday at the Seneca Allegany Casino in Allegany, N.Y. The band’s first CD, “All Our Nations,” was among 16 NAMA winners at this year’s awards ceremony.
“This win is not so much about the band, this is for all our Native veterans and wounded warriors, and for all kids and families with autism, especially our Native ones, who so often get ignored with the assumption that they somehow are capable of less then the rest of us,” said Paris Hairston, Blue Mountain Tribe producer.
Band members include Ret. Sgt. Robin Hairston, vocals & harmonica (Chiricahua), Caleb Hairston, guitar and vocals (Chiricahua), James Bixler, bass and vocals (Cherokee), Pat Mata, drums and vocals (Chumash/Yokuts) and Val Sedo, lead vocalist (Cherokee).
Founded and incorporated in 1998, NAMA remains the world’s largest and only professional membership-based organization dedicated to music initiatives by Native North Americans and American Indians.
For more information on the Native American Music Awards & Association, visit nativeamericanmusicawards.com. For more information on Blue Mountain Tribe, visit bluemountaintribe.com or at the band’s Facebook page.
Read the full story on the band in an upcoming edition of Tehachapi News