When it comes to saying thank you, no one does it quite like the U.S. President Donald Trump. Soon after festivities for Public Service Recognition Week kicked into full gear last Sunday, Congress received a proposal from Trump administration calling for massive compensation cuts for federal employees worth $143.5 billion in total.
Trump Proposes Billions of Dollars in Retirement Cuts
This Public Service Recognition Week, Trump expressed his gratitude towards the civil servants of America for their service towards fellow citizens and hard work in ‘making America great again’ by making a shocking proposal to the congress which called for federal retirement cuts worth billions of dollars.
On Friday, House Speaker Paul Ryan received a letter from Jeff Pon, Director of Personal Management Office, which included four proposals aimed at significantly reducing health and retirement benefits for millions of federal workers and soon-to-be-retirees. Pon suggested that the proposals were the first necessary steps to making the federal sector more in line with the private sector – by making government jobs less permanent and more flexible.
The proposal letter left federal employees feeling whiplashed and betrayed by Trump administration – and we don’t really blame them for feeling that way. Even Speaker Paul Ryan lashed out against the idea of making federal sector similar to the private sector and said that the proposals were ‘shameful’.
Bringing Federal Division in Line with the Private Sector
Among the millions of federal workers being celebrated this week is a 37-year-old doctor at Atlanta’s Disease Control and Prevention Centers named Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsopp, who has devoted most of her career to research on autism.
Marshalyn says that she loves working for the government. The 37-year-old often has people with autistic children come up to her and say how appreciative they are for her work, and the fact that she is making a difference in the world makers her career in public health extremely rewarding.
Even though Marshalyn is happy with her job right now, she may not feel the same way when the new proposal for cutting federal employee benefits is passed in congress. In addition to cutting corner on retirement benefits, Trump administration also wants to freeze salaries and change civil service laws to make the federal sector more in line with the private sector.
Jeff Pon said last week at a civil service town hall that the administration was working towards making the civil sector more flexible in order to continuously update the workforce and bring in new talent.
He said that federal employees shouldn’t have to work one government job for three decades and then retire with lifetime of benefits. Pon hasn’t revealed a detailed plan on how the government plans to overhaul the civil sector other that the four proposals outlined in the letter received by Paul Ryan last week.
New Cuts May Affect Recruitment Process
One of the points raised in the proposal which most people agreed with that the federal sector wasn’t doing good enough job in attracting the younger generation towards the government.
Thomas Ross, the Volcker Alliance president said that more than 40 per cent of the aging civil workforce is preparing to retire within the next five years and in order to get younger workers to take over their jobs, the government needs to make the recruitment process much easier in order to avoid an employee shortage crisis in the next few years.
But after Trump’s pay freeze proposal and the new retirement and benefit cuts are making it more difficult to attract younger generation towards government jobs.
Jessica Klement, the VP of National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association says that it’s about time the government makes changes to the employment rules in the federal sector which were created four decades ago and haven’t been revised ever since.
According to Klement, if the government wants to operate the federal division like the private sector, it can implement a number of changes that could incentivize younger generation to apply for government jobs. These could include offering parental leaves, healthcare benefits, bonuses and promotions – all of which are commonplace in large private companies.