Joe Davidson, a columnist for the Washington Post, recently informed federal employees that the President just made good on one of his promises: a hiring freeze was included in the Trump presidential campaign’s “Contract with the American Voter.” Staff writer Juliet Eilperin contributed to the story.
It was the second of six measures “to clean up the corruption and special interest collusion in Washington, D.C.” and part of his “100-day action plan to Make America Great Again.” The contract excluded the “military, public safety, and public health,” but during a signing in the Oval Office Trump only mentioned the military.
“President Trump’s action will disrupt government programs and services that benefit everyone and actually increase taxpayer costs by forcing agencies to hire more expensive contractors to do work that civilian government employees are already doing for far less,” said American Federation of Government Employees President J. David Cox Sr. “This hiring freeze will mean longer lines at Social Security offices, fewer workplace safety inspections, less oversight of environmental polluters, and greater risk to our nation’s food supply and clean water systems.”
“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 Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union. “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.”
Individuals hired by Obama, but who have not yet started working, still could be affected by a freeze. In an August 1981 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in National Treasury Employees Union v. Ronald Reagan, the court ruled that anyone who had been appointed after Election Day, but had not yet started work, were affected by the retroactive freeze because they had not actually become federal employees.
In 1982, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) examined hiring freezes imposed by former presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan and determined that was not an effective strategy.
Hiring freezes have “little effect on Federal employment levels,” the GAO said. The report said the freezes “disrupted agency operations, and in some cases, increased costs to the Government.”
Brad’s tip: If you’re a federal employee and concerned about job stability and occupational difficulties during this shift in our government, don’t leave without taking everything you are entitled to! Contact us at Harris Federal Law Firm, maybe we can help. Brad@HarrisFederal.com (202) 601-2681