Letters to the editor

Following are responses to an FCW.com poll question that asked, "Given an opportunity, would you work for the Homeland Security Department?"

I would prefer to work at an agency where someone who does not do his or her job can be terminated promptly. In my experience, only a small percentage of government workers fall into this category, despite some stereotypes to the contrary. Still, that small percentage is a drain on morale and resources — and government managers are either incapable of getting rid of this flotsam or they are stymied by unions, the Equal Employment Office or other groups. These groups should encourage incompetent people to leave rather than protect them. In doing so, they are reinforcing their own stereotypes as impediments to efficient government rather than contributors to a better workforce.

Name withheld by request


I'm not in favor of this proposal to eliminate civil service protections for employees at the new department at all because I don't think these types of actions are ever applied fairly. If there needs to be some changes to ensure high-caliber staff, I think the focus should be narrowed to include only certain components or critical areas of the new department, e.g., highly sensitive positions.

I don't think there's a need, nor does it make sense, to apply this type of micro-management across the new department. What a morale buster!

Name withheld by request


The president's threatened veto of the proposed Homeland Security Department rests on breaking the protections given to all federal personnel, at least until now. In an earlier time, he would be viewed as directly involved in union busting. We are discussing career people, not military personnel, not people who volunteered to serve under orders and go wherever sent.

How can government hope to be an employer of choice when the president's objective appears to be removing the employee's rights, protections and — in a word — choice?

Name withheld by request


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