Many seasonal NPS workers 'confused' about rule change

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.

Reader comments

Thu, Oct 4, 2018 Valley Forge National Park

It is about time the Seasonal has had it's Limit. At Valley Forge National Park The Seasonal was catered to. Starting in 2008 Management Knowingly and willfully Hired Non Vet Seasonals over Veterans until the Union stepped in. Some Seasonals would destroy work done by career employees so they would look bad and try to obtain permanent Positions. Some Seasonals were used as informants for the General Facility Manager to try to get certain employees that were not liked in trouble. Cameras were then set up in Shops to try to catch the employee dimed out by the Seasonal. Some seasonals got in fights with other Seasonals in front of the Visiting Public only for Management to shove it under the rug. A lot of Seasonals were Relatives of Management and were aloud to work out of grade . Some Seasonals put in for Temp positions and were found not Qulified then would be passed on to other parks to just work in a trade just enough to build a resume that looks good but far from qualified then send them out to some far remote park and become General Foreman over many year experience Foreman trying to obtain Foreman.

Tue, Apr 24, 2018

Again the minions in DC, Zenke and his troop of idiots have found another way to devastate the great folks who take care of our park system, the rangers, naturalists, and other support staff who welcome the visitors to our national treasures of beauty. Now a suggestion is that they should not rehire sessional workers who worked a defined set of hours. Well here is the answer reduce the management bloat at the Department of Interior, hire the folks under a plan that is adaptable not based on total hours and make sure their salaries are adequate compared to what these folks are paid now. Also Zenke do not travel first class, do not sell out park lands and land preserves to the oil companies (you will do this since you need employment after your fired or the administration is voted out).

Mon, Apr 23, 2018

They shouldn't be surprise FEMA has done the same thing to me after having worked for them over ten years.

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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