Charles Paidock, Sec.-Tres. Letter to the Editor / Opinion July 23, 2017
Local 739, Chicago, IL
NFFE – National Federation of Federal Employees, AFL-CIO
firstname.lastname@example.org, (312) 842-5036 office, (312) 714-7790 cell
The Value of Having an Experienced Federal Workforce
Amidst the sundry reports of obvious chaos in the current White House, and the absence of any legislative accomplishments by Congress, the nation is fortunate to have a seasoned federal workforce to rely upon for day-to-day operations of the country. Campaign promises to change the government, and “run it like a company,” do not appear to have happened. Changes in Communications Directors are not going to mask the current dysfunction at the top. There is no conspiratorial “deep state” as is theorized.
The general public expects the government to be operated with some measure of formality, and compliance with uniform, fair and equitable standards. Lost in all the editorials and headlines are the activities of the federal employees in place who manage to get things done absent any consistent policy. Fortunately, federal employees, I believe, have developed a degree of immunity to the negative personal opinions of them voiced by some. Agency missions are being accomplished in accordance with current law, rule, and regulation.
As a reward for the service performed by federal employees, the President and Congress instead looks to cut their pay and diminish their retirement benefits, eliminate collective bargaining, and terminate them without notice or opportunity for appeal. Renewed efforts to outsource functions to the private section are being considered.
Mail is being delivered, passports are issued, laws are enforced, parks are open to visitors, etc., all is normal without direction from political appointees with little or no experience in their assigned areas. For all the attention given to Washington, eight-five percent (85%) of government operations take place outside of there.
Public safety and security, inherent functions of government, in no measure have been reduced or diminished.
In answer to those who seek to denounce civil service, the federal workforce, it should be noted, is not “under investigation” for any potential violations, although those who employees are expected to answer to presently are. Any federal employee who is the subject of an investigation normally has any administrative authority temporarily removed, with their projects re-assigned, or is placed on administrative leave.
Federal employees get their jobs, and advance in the ranks, through a process called merit staffing, and not through political favoritism, and have their performances rated and reviewed annually.
If the President wants to sponsor a “week” to recognize something, it might be a good idea to do so focusing on the accomplishments of the federal workforce. Situations like the one we currently find ourselves in only serve to demonstrate to the public the value of a having a core of experienced employees who are able to perform their functions with little or no direction.