WASHINGTON – American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. today called on President Obama not to exempt military personnel from sequestration cuts next year, unless he also prohibits the Department of Defense from using military personnel for duties last performed by civilian employees.
Exempting the military from sequestration cuts in fiscal 2014 without safeguarding against military-to-civilian conversions will result in more civilian employees being furloughed and permanently laid off, Cox said in a letter to Obama.
“In fact, this arrangement actually encourages the Department to impose furloughs on civilian employees and use military personnel to prevent interruptions in services, which prolongs sequestration, increases costs to taxpayers in the long run, and imposes drastic cuts in income on civilian employees, many of whom live, like many other working- and middle-class Americans, from paycheck-to-paycheck,” Cox wrote.
If Obama decides to exempt military personnel from sequestration, then it is imperative that he forbid the Pentagon from using military personnel to perform work last performed by civilian employees who are furloughed and subjected to reductions-in-force (RIFs). In addition, Cox asked Obama to reinforce existing prohibitions on transferring work last performed by civilian employees to contractors.
A copy of the letter is available here: http://afgeunionblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/afge-letter-to-president-obama-on-sequestration.pdf.