Union hopes to help new lawmakers see benefits of fed workforce

With Republican lawmakers set to take over the House, the head of the National Treasury Employees Union said the union will seek to educate new lawmakers on the importance of the federal workforce—and the dangers a proposed hiring freeze would pose to taxpayers.

Colleen Kelley, NTEU president, said the union will work with the new lawmakers and try to get them past what she characterized as politically motivated criticism of federal employees that proliferated during the campaign season.

In the midterm elections, Republicans gained at least 60 seats in the House, more than enough to claim the majority. The GOP fell just short in the Senate, with some of the tightest races tilting at the last minute to the Democrats. Many Republicans in the House spent most of the summer criticizing the federal workforce and offering measures to cut federal pay and freeze all hiring.

Kelley said that approach is not practical.

“I am alarmed by the current political climate for federal employees, who have been made scapegoats during a challenging economic period,” Kelley said. “These proposals are too often based on misinformation about federal employees, and fail to consider the negative impacts on critical government services.”

Cutting the federal workforce could wind up costing taxpayers more money, she said, due to lack of services, lost revenue and costly and inefficient contracting alternatives.

To see more, go to: www.nteu.org

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