Seasonal temps at land agencies get new competitive status

President Obama on Aug. 7 signed H.R. 1531, the Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act (H.R. 1531), which allows temporary seasonal employees in federal land management agencies to compete for vacant permanent positions under internal merit promotion procedures.

The bill, passed by the Senate last week, also will waive age requirements that currently prevent well-qualified temporary seasonal firefighters from competing for permanent positions.

The National Federation of Federal Employees, which has championed the legislation, applauded the new law.

"This has been on NFFE’s radar for decades,” said NFFE National Vice President Mark Davis, past president of the NFFE Forest Service Council. “I personally have been working on this reform for at least seven years.”

“After years of moving the ball down the field an inch at a time, it feels great to finally be on the one-yard line," he said shortly before the president signed the bill.

Reader comments

Wed, Dec 21, 2016 mmm

Anybody have any luck with age waiver? NPS is not honoring this.

Tue, Jan 12, 2016

To say this law "allows temporary seasonal employees" to compete under merit procedures is misleading. The law allows SOME temporary employees to do so, IF they meet the law's requirements, one of which is that their initial appointment was in the "Competitive Service". But because many long-term temporaries were initially hired in the "Excepted Service", they are NOT eligible to apply under LMWFA, and fall into yet another crack in the system.

Fri, Jan 8, 2016

This is a great step. Can someone confirm for me that this applies to "Term" as well as "Temporary" and "Seasonal" positions. The word term never comes up in the language of the law.

Sat, Nov 14, 2015

It's been THREE MONTHS, but a search of the OPM and USAjobs websites still doesn't return ANY results about LMWFA. Don't hold your breath folks. Until OPM issues an interim final rule to implement the law, nothing has changed!

Sun, Nov 1, 2015

There are a few negative responses here, but I see it as all good. Ideally the Feds would have a better hiring process, where people are hired because they are the most qualified. But right now that often doesn't happen. Minimally qualified folks get the jobs because of veteran preferences and supervisors desperate to improve their annual review by hiring minorities. Lots of temporaries are highly educated - and could easily outcompete some of the permanents for merit positions. It's all good.

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