- By GovExec Staff February 15, 2017
The White House has again signaled that President Trump intends to overhaul federal employee compensation and move work to the private sector, this time including those reforms as part of a promise to “innovate and update government.” This clearly doesn’t bode well for civil servants’ pay, retirement benefits or job security. “There’s going to be a respect for taxpayers in this administration, so that whether it’s salaries or actual positions or programs, [Trump’s] going to have a very, very tough look at how we’re operating government, how many positions they’re in, what people are getting paid,” said Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
But in one silver lining, a group of Democratic senators has made a pledge of its own. The 12 senators – led by Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii – introduced a resolution (S. Res. 51) “recognizing the contributions of federal employees” and vowing to fight back against any legislation or Trump administration action that would “erode fair compensation for federal employees,” specifically by cutting pay, raising health insurance premiums or “unnecessarily or irresponsibly reducing the overall federal workforce.” The senators also said they would combat attempts to reduce retirement benefits, undermine federal employee unions, eliminate due process rights for federal employees and outsource inherently governmental work.
The resolution, reported by Federal News Radio, now has support from a total of 15 senators, all Democrats. There are also separate movements to carve out more exemptions to Trump’s hiring freeze. Some House Democrats, for instance, would like to ensure that all veterans are excluded from the directive.