Union pushes back against plan to downsize Forest Service program

A major fed employee union is pushing back against a cabinet-level decision to wind down a Job Corps program.

The plan calls for shutting down at least nine Forest Service Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers—and placing the remaining 15 under the Department of Labor, to be managed by private contractors, not federal employees. The two departments aim to accomplish the changes by Sept. 30.

The Job Corps-CCC program employees over 1100 feds and recruits thousands of at-risk young people every year, from all over the country, to work on conservation and firefighting projects.

The Forest Service falls under the Department of Agriculture, whose leadership announced the plan.

The American Federation of Government Employees union is slamming the plan.

The proposal is “underhanded and misguided and will hurt hard-pressed rural communities,” the union said in a release.

"We’ve seen this time and time again,” J. David Cox, AFGE president, said. “The administration wants to fire unionized federal employees and contract out their jobs to for-profit companies.” 

“The federal Job Corps program has provided education and training for disadvantaged and at-risk youth in some of the nation’s most underserved rural communities for more than 50 years,” Cox noted. Program participants have provided substantial assistance to many localities after numerous natural disasters—for example, in Hurricane Harvey.

Bipartisan support for maintaining the program remains, the union noted, in its call to stop the administration’s plan.

Reader comments

Fri, Jun 7, 2019

My comment, again to the last reader: Actually you're not just indicating "reality." Many Republicans and Democrats are trying to get the policy reversed. The might succeed. Lots of fighting against stupid policy idea. Many letters. Here is just 1 Republican Senator letter on Senate website: https://www.daines.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/052419%20-%20Daines%20Gianforte%20Job%20Corps%20Letter.pdf

Fri, Jun 7, 2019

Educate the readers, tell us what unions have done for the federal employees in the past three administrations. They were fine with the lack of pay increases; increases in health premiums; and of course they surely did not mind taking dues to pay their folks bonuses and perks. It would be interesting to see how they sell out to the current administration. Lots of talk and no action.

Thu, Jun 6, 2019

No just indicating the reality of the situation.

Wed, Jun 5, 2019

My comment to last reader: Aren't you being a little negative here?

Wed, Jun 5, 2019

Let us see if a weak union can do anything other than talk, bay bonuses to their bloated management and actually protect the federal employees rights. Do not expect anything that will benefit those affected.

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