Just in time for the new year, the Air Force says it will cut more than 1,000 civilian jobs by early April as part of a mandatory reduction-in-force (RIF).
Some civilian employees currently working in those jobs could be eligible to move into other available positions, although that is by no means guaranteed.
AFGE immediately blasted the move as an “ill-conceived action that will end up costing taxpayers more money in the long run.”
“If the goal is to increase costs to taxpayers while eroding our military readiness, the Air Force will certainly succeed,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said.
The Air Force says it’s laying off employees to meet congressionally required cuts in the size of the civilian workforce. However, it appears that none of the work currently performed by these employees is going away.
“By slashing the civilian workforce without slashing the work, the Air Force will have to hire more costly service contractors and require active duty military personnel to perform non-combat jobs instead of focusing on their core military mission,” Cox said.
The Air Force has imposed an arbitrary cap on the size of the civilian workforce, without regard to the effect on budgets and continuing workloads. This is occurring across the Department of Defense, in addition to arbitrary workforce cuts imposed by Congress.
Yet the Air Force and Congress are ignoring this advice, which comes from theCongressional Budget Office and DoD’s own former senior officials.
“The best way to cut overall personnel costs is to increase the number of civilian employees, because they are cheaper than service members and contractors. This is also a great way to hire retiring service members and other veterans,” Cox said.
AFGE will share more information about the RIF when it becomes available.