NFFE Clears Path for Wildland Firefighters, Defense Workers


Thursday, January 5, 2017


Washington, D.C. – With the signing of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (S. 2943), the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) celebrates a victory for temporary and term employees at federal land management agencies and the Department of Defense (DoD) through the creation of a career path to permanent positions.  This change allows wildland firefighters and certain defense workers to include their years of service protecting life and federal lands when competing for permanent jobs within the federal government.

“These brave women and men who choose to endanger their own lives for the safety of others deserve a level playing field with other federal employees when applying for jobs,” stated NFFE National President Randy Erwin.  “We are also very pleased that the same provisions have been expanded to cover temporary and term employees of depots, arsenals, shipyards, and major range and test facilities bases whose work is so critical for the safety of our troops.  This signals a great step forward toward ending a second-class employment status for our nation’s wildland firefighters and defense workers.” 

Two provisions were signed into law as part of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) expanding the eligibility for temporary and term employees to pursue permanent positions formerly available to full-time employees only.  The new law brings welcomed relief to seasonal and other temporary workers at the Forest Service, Department of Interior, and certain DoD facilities.

“NFFE worked hard to ensure the passage of these two valuable provisions, and we will continue to promote solid career paths within the government in order to attract and keep the best and brightest,” Erwin said.  “If you put your time in, it should count.”

For more information on the 2017 NDAA provisions to promote career paths for temporary and term employees, click here.