Forest Service Workers Denounce Agency Effort to Open 15,000 Jobs Up to Privatization StudiesMonday, January 30, 2006
Contact: Randy Erwin (202) 216-4451 (office) (202) 898-1866 (fax)
Forest Service employees are responding this week to news that the agency plans to open 15,000 additional full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) up to A-76 privatization studies by FY09, according to new revisions in the agency's Competitive Sourcing Green Plan.
While the agency plans to study every job considered commercial by the FAIR Act Inventory, the Forest Service has received no special appropriation to carry out the studies.
"The Forest Service has neither the resources nor the capability to study 15,000 jobs by 2009," said National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE), Forest Service Council President Bill Dougan.
In all likelihood, capital to conduct studies will come from diverting funds from resource management projects, principally, clearing National Forest land of wildfire causing fuel.
"Studying this many positions would cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and there is no fat in the Forest Service budget to absorb this kind of an expense," said Dougan. "This could cause a dangerous deterioration of our National Forests."
Forest Service employees are also displeased with agency representatives for being left out of the process to develop the revised Green Plan.
"The agency cut the union completely out of the process. This is a slap in the face to every worker in the Forest Service," said Dougan.