WASHINGTON - The American Federation of Government Employees voiced serious concern about a 90-day hiring freeze instituted today throughout the Marine Corps.
The freeze affects all internal and external hiring actions for civilian positions, with limited exceptions for cybersecurity positions, employees stationed overseas and first responders such as firefighters and civilian police.
Many positions within the Marine Corps have been vacant for months because the agency hasn’t replaced employees as they retire, said Brian Leonard, president of AFGE Council 240, which represents Marine Corps employees.
“We’re one deep in most places. If we lose somebody, that work doesn’t go away. We still have to accomplish the mission, so that puts more work on everyone else,” Leonard said.
The Marine Corps announced plans in September to reduce civilian positions by 1,400 – roughly 18 percent – within the next five years. The freeze is the first step in planning for those cuts, the Marine Corps said in a memorandum issued today.
Leonard said he’s unsure how the Marine Corps can cut that many positions without seriously impacting service delivery.
“I’ve been hearing that we need to do more with less for 30-plus years. We got rid of the fat in the Marine Corps a long time ago. We’ve already cut into muscle and now we’re down to the bone,” he said.