Ed. note: We just saw this alarming (but not surprising) story in The Washington Post. This is similar to what Elaine Cho (Labor Secretary in the George W. Bush administration) tried to do—change the wording of the Fair Labor Standards Acts to sneak through a provision to limit overtime for police, teachers, firefighters etc. If the measure had passed, everyone in law enforcement above the rank of sergeant would be considered “management” and not eligible for overtime. A massive lobbying effort on the part of police unions and associations was successful in derailing the plan, but as always, these people never give up. We will try to keep you up-to-date on these ominous developments, and if you do ANYTHING to protest this approaching disaster, please let us know and we will spread the word. This plan is for federal workers, but state and local public sector employees—including the police—will be next.
Via The Washington Post:
President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress are drawing up plans to take on the government bureaucracy they have long railed against, by eroding job protections and grinding down benefits that federal workers have received for a generation.
Hiring freezes, an end to automatic raises, a green light to fire poor performers, a ban on union business on the government’s dime and less generous pensions — these are the contours of the blueprint emerging under Republican control of Washington in January.
These changes were once unthinkable to federal employees, their unions and their supporters in Congress. But Trump’s election as an outsider promising to shake up a system he told voters is awash in “waste, fraud and abuse” has conservatives optimistic that they could do now what Republicans have been unable to do in the 133 years since the modern civil service was created.
“You have the country moving to the right and being much more anti-Washington than it was,” said former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), a leading Trump adviser who serves on the president-elect’s transition team.
“We’re going to have to get the country to understand how big the problem is, the human costs of it and why it’s absolutely essential to reform,” said Gingrich, who urged Trump to shrink big government and overhaul the “job-for-life” guarantee of federal work.
Gingrich predicted that Stephen K. Bannon, a former Breitbart News chief who helped steer Trump’s campaign and is now one of his most influential advisers, would lead the effort. “It’s a big, big project,” he said.
The project aligns with Bannon’s long-stated warnings about the corrupting influence of government and a capital city rampant with “crony capitalism.”
Breitbart headlines also provide a possible insight into his views, with federal employees described as overpaid, too numerous and a “privileged class.”
“Number of Government Employees Now Surpasses Manufacturing Jobs by 9,977,000,” the website proclaimed in November. There are 2.1 million federal civilian employees.
Top Republicans on Capitol Hill say their first priority will be making it easier to fire employees regarded as incompetent or who break the rules.
“It’s nearly impossible to fire somebody,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. “When the overwhelming majority do a good job and the one bad apple is there viewing pornography, I want people to be held accountable.”
Chaffetz said he plans to push through wholesale changes to the generous retirement benefits that federal workers receive, by shifting to a market-driven, 401(k)-style plan for new employees.
He said the model would be his home state, which six years ago replaced the defined benefit pensions that have disappeared at most private companies with a defined contribution plan for new state and municipal workers.
“We have a Republican president who will help us drive this to the finish line,” Chaffetz said.
The promises go hand in hand with Trump’s promise to shrink the size and reach of government, from eliminating some agencies outright to lifting regulations and running the bureaucracy with fewer people.
Gingrich said the Trump administration probably would look for guidance from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), who stripped public employee unions of most of their collective-bargaining rights and forced workers to pay more into their pensions and for health care in what became a bitter political fight.
The White House also can look for lessons from policies advocated by Vice President-elect Mike Pence.