Not the best and the brightest? Blame unions


The federal government isn't getting a proprotionate share of the best and the brightest, fret Linda Bilmes and W. Scott Gould in the company town rag, the Washington Post. It seems to me that unions are a big part of the problem. [emphasis added]

The federal government is losing the battle for its fair share of our nation's most talented workers. Yet it must hire about 100,000 people per year, and soon many more, given the huge numbers of federal workers expected to retire in the next five to 10 years. Without reform, it is unlikely that the government will be able to hire and retain people with the technical and professional skills necessary to meet the increasingly complex challenges it faces.

President Bush's ambitious federal personnel management reform efforts have hit two major roadblocks this summer. On Aug. 12, U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer, a Bush appointee, halted implementation of a new personnel management system at the Department of Homeland Security, ruling that the system violates the congressionally bestowed collective bargaining rights of employees. And in early June, implementation of the Defense Department's National Security Personnel System was delayed for several months as Pentagon officials sought to review and address the 58,000 public comments they received on the preliminary rules and a counterproposal by the agency's labor unions. Simultaneously, the administration is testing the waters for legislation to reform the rest of the civil service. But the faltering status of the reform agenda at Homeland Security and the Pentagon make wider reforms increasingly unlikely in the near term.

Ed Lasky   8 31 05