NFFE Fights Announced Army Civilian Personnel Cuts
Last month, the Department of the Army announced that 17,000 Department of Army civilian employees will be cut as a part of a larger Department-wide force structure decision that will be completed by the end of fiscal year 2018. The Army says that this will impact nearly every installation in both the continental United States and overseas – including NFFE-represented Army installations.
At the moment, the Army Civilian Service say that they employ over 330,000 employees “in almost every profession imaginable.” The 17,000 reduction thus represents about a five percent reduction in their total workforce. While the Army is also hopeful that some of the reductions will be possible through attrition and forced retirements, many forced separations will also be necessary due to the cuts.
The cuts come in the wake of continued sequestration funding targets established by the 2011 Budget Control Act. However, there is no sure thing that this wave of massive cuts will be enough to satisfy sequester-level spending caps – leaving the potential for further cuts in fiscal year 2019. Army officials have repeatedly warned that these deep and senseless cuts pose a threat to ensuring our military readiness – and we know that civilian employees are the backbone of America’s military might. These damaging cuts are self-inflicted following Congress’ inability to enact any sort of meaningful budget control measures in a fiscal standoff in 2011, and following years of inability by Congress to repeal sequestration, despite many in Congress voicing the need to do so.
“A five percent reduction in the civilian workforce is huge, and will have untold consequences on our military’s readiness around the world,” said NFFE National President William R. Dougan. “Not only are 17,000 hardworking federal employees going to be forced out of their jobs, but these cuts will have a significant impact in the communities surrounding Army installations that rely on the money these federal jobs provide those local economies. This is bad policy, and is a result on unnecessary partisan gridlock in Congress that brought about arbitrary sequestration funding limits. NFFE will continue the fight for repealing the mindless cuts brought by sequestration and minimize the impact of these cuts felt by NFFE-IAM members.”