Many seasonal NPS workers 'confused' about rule change
- By FederalSoup Staff
- Apr 20, 2018
Many seasonal employees of the National Park Service—some who have worked for the agency for decades — are finding themselves unemployed after NPS made an unannounced change to seasonal hiring rules.
In a letter to members of Congress, National Treasury Employees Union National President Tony Reardon, said his organization has been contacted by many seasonal employees who are “confused, frustrated, and hurt” that they are now being barred from future seasonal jobs if they have ever worked more than 1,039 hours in a year in the past.
The Office of Personnel Management allows agencies to rehire employees in seasonal jobs as long as they work less than 1,040 hours during a given service year. But, for years, many seasonal employees worked both the winter and summer seasons with the encouragement of their supervisors to gain more experience and were under the impression for that they could do so as long as they did not work more than 1,040 hours at a single park.
These workers have been hired year over year, until now.
“Some [workers]are being told that they can sign up for a six-month contract and they will be terminated after that; while others are being told that they went over the 1,039-hour cap in the past, and are now permanently banned from working in the parks,” Reardon said in the letter, adding that each region and each park seems to have its own rules and there is no consistency in enforcing the policy.
Furthermore, some workers were not notified of the change until after the competitive hiring deadline had passed.
He is asking for clear and consistent guidelines for temporary seasonal employees regarding rehire authority.