Tag: Federal Employees

Dead on the Job

Raise your hand if you are surprised:

Federal employees’ job security is so great that workers in many agencies are more likely to die of natural causes than get laid off or fired, a USA TODAY analysis finds.

Death — rather than poor performance, misconduct or layoffs — is the primary threat to job security at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Small Business Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Office of Management and Budget and a dozen other federal operations.

The federal government fired 0.55% of its workers in the budget year that ended Sept. 30 — 11,668 employees in its 2.1 million workforce. Research shows that the private sector fires about 3% of workers annually for poor performance, says John Palguta, former research chief at the federal Merit Systems Protection Board, which handles federal firing disputes.

For those with seniority and big salaries, the firing rate is pretty close to zero.

The feds, of course, are simply declaring that this is a result of the sheer awesomeness of their work force. Most of you have dealt with the government know this to be true: federal employees are always highly skilled, attentive and personable.

Right? Right?! Oh.

Keep in mind, federal employee unions are a lot weaker than the state employee unions. Congress could, quite easily, make it much easier to fire federal employees. They have chosen not to, just the way they chose to raise federal salaries much much faster over the last decade than the private sector.

Something’s gotta give.

(Addendum: speaking of government employees, guess what issues has pretty much disappeared from the Wisconsin recall elections?)