Democrats say Trump to seek federal pay freeze and cuts to domestic security

This article written by Joe Davidson was originally published in The Washington Post, December 14, 2017.  

“President Trump will propose a pay freeze for federal employees and cut domestic security programs in fiscal 2019, according to reports released by Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Democrats.

“The two reports are based on budget guidance from the Office of Management and Budget, dated Nov. 28, overruling Department of Homeland Security  requests. The guidance was leaked to the panel’s Democratic staff by a whistleblower. Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.), the committee’s top Democrat, had the staff issue summaries of the OMB document . One report focuses on personnel, the other on counterterrorism programs.

“Although the budget documents concern DHS, the personnel summary says “OMB intends to issue a pay freeze for federal civilian employees in 2019.” Quoting the administration’s document, the staff report adds: “OMB has instructed DHS: ‘Per governmentwide guidance, no civilian pay raise is included in the recommended level for the FY 2019 Budget.’ ”

“The counterterrorism report says the administration “intends to seek $568 million in cuts to counterterrorism programs” from 2017 levels. That would include decreases in programs on violent extremism, port and public transportation security, domestic nuclear detection and emergency management grants.

“According to the staff report, OMB wants to eliminate Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response teams, which “are multidisciplinary groups of security officers deployed to various locations to prevent and deter acts of terrorism” and cut $27 million from Federal Air Marshals.

“‘I’m worried that the Office of Management and Budget is overriding what local, state, and national leaders have told me they most need to keep us safe,” McCaskill said. “With recent terrorist attacks in our country and throughout the globe, counterterrorism programs shouldn’t be on the chopping block.’

“The staff noted that OMB’s budget guidance does not necessarily represent the administration’s final spending plan. Agencies can appeal budget office guidance. The DHS appeal was due Dec. 1.

“Federal employees had a three-year freeze on their basic pay rates during the Obama administration. Another freeze “may present challenges for DHS components wishing to retain qualified employees. Morale and attrition within DHS have long been problems that the Department has struggled to fix,” the staff report said.

“’The absence of a pay increase for law enforcement personnel may not allow DHS to remain competitive with other law enforcement agencies with whom they compete for qualified applicants. This is especially true as DHS components have historically struggled to meet hiring mandates.’”

To read the original article click here .

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What Federal Employees Should Know About a Possible Government Shutdown

The federal government could shut down Friday, December 8, 2017 if Congress can’t work out a solution to its spending dispute. This means that the lives of federal employees would once again be affected by Congress’ failure to do its job.

In order to assist you with local preparations, the IAM has gathered guidance to assist you: 

The IAM Government Employees Department will update information when it becomes available. Please contact Government Employees Department Director Jim Price at 301-967-4753 if you have any questions.

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Sign Up for the 2018 Federal Employee Program

The IAM Federal Employee Program will take place February 4–9, 2018 at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Hollywood, MD. Enrollment forms for authorized participants must be received no later than December 20, 2017.

Click here for the official call letter and enrollment forms.

The program will include training in areas specific to the federal sector. Collective bargaining, the Hatch Act and legislative action, prohibited personnel practices, unfair labor practices (ULP) and grievance handling, arbitration and the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) are among the topics of the program.

This program will be useful to stewards, officers and business representatives who service members in the federal sector.

Due to limited class space of 30, only those who have not previously attended may enroll. Participants will be chosen on a first come basis, so do not delay.

You may also contact the Government Employees Department at 301-967-4753 if you have questions about the program or enrollment.

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