WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees is calling on all U.S. senators to support an amendment introduced by Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland that would prevent harmful cuts to the Department of Defense’s civilian workforce.
The Cardin amendment, #3025, would strike a provision in the fiscal 2013 National Defense Authorization Act requiring a 5% across-the-board cut to civilian employees in the department. This provision, added to the bill by Sen. John McCain of Arizona, would force as many as 36,000 civilian employees out of work without any analysis into what impact these workforce cuts would have on the department’s ability to meet its mission.
“With the drawdown in the Middle East and the need to reduce spending, it is inevitable that the military, civilian and contractor workforces will be reduced,” AFGE Legislative and Political Director Beth Moten said in a letter to senators. “However, it is imperative that such reductions be based on workload analysis in which the President and Congress determine which functions the Department will no longer perform and then reduce those workforces accordingly.”
Both the White House and the Pentagon object to the McCain provision and support the Cardin amendment. The Cardin amendment also is supported by the AFL-CIO, the largest federation of U.S. unions including AFGE, and the Professional Services Council, which represents government service contractors.