October 03, 2022
The sorry state of America’s federal prisons was in full display at a Sept. 29 congressional hearing where AFGE Council of Prison Locals President Shane Fausey testified.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) told its employees the agency will no longer pursue the planned merger with the General Services Administration (GSA).
“As you know, the administration proposed the merger to address the financial and other challenges facing OPM, and as a way to strengthen the agency’s IT posture and address other longstanding operational and modernization challenges,” Acting OPM Director Michael Rigas said in an email to employees. “As Congress has not acted on the administration’s legislative proposal, we are no longer devoting time and energy to the merger and are focused on ensuring OPM can function as a standalone personnel agency for the federal government.”
AFGE, which led the opposition to the controversial plan to abolish OPM, said the administration’s apparent decision to abandon its efforts to abolish the central civil service oversight agency is a victory not only for the OPM workers our union represents but also for the American public.
“The proposal was a clear attempt to politicize the civil service by abolishing the agency that ensures federal employees are hired and fired, promoted and demoted based on skill and merit, not on political loyalty tests,” said AFGE President Everett Kelley. “Fueled by our union’s opposition, Congress passed legislation last year prohibiting the administration from moving forward with this plan, although the administration had attempted to circumvent this prohibition.”
“While we are relieved by the decision to abandon this dangerous plan, this administration is still proceeding with other proposals that endanger the apolitical civil service and strip away the rights of federal employees,” Kelley added.
Staff needed to move patients to other hospitals and get the grounds ready for the storm that was projected to be the region’s strongest on record.
This op-ed by AFGE President Everett Kelley was published in The Hill on Sept. 28, 2022.