Report: WH slashes telework, employees—infuriated—push back

The Trump administration, across departments and agencies, is criticizing and slashing the amount of telework available—while unions and federal employees are exasperated and fighting the administration’s moves, the Washington Post reports.

Despite decades of increasing telework—with faster remote work systems helping to reduce traffic and greenhouse gases—the current White House has curbed and even ended tens of thousands of telecommutes, as enumerated in the report.

The rollback against telework is especially pointed at Education, Interior, and the EPA, among others. It is forcing some longtime teleworkers to choose between returning to long commutes, or taking an early exit from government. Many feds and their unions are pushing back—already succeeding at restoring a major telework program at Social Security.

Finally, the data on the pros and cons of telework is not clear in many cases, the report said—but with the administration failing to offer support the crackdown, to many the moves appear unnecessary and punitive.

Reader comments

Thu, Jan 23, 2020

No one with any talent will consider Civil Service at this time. Too much stupidity due to the political appointed idiots who demonize civil servants. Thank the democrats and republicans along with the do nothing unions.

Thu, Jan 23, 2020

Going to work is not a baby sitting service where the manager oversees his underlings and hands out discipline when needed (in a pretend world). Individuals who telework are great honest folks who do their tour of duty as detailed in their contract issued on what is expected of them. The management at the big outfit in Bethesda abuses telework on a daily basis and substitute this for annual leave. These are the corrupt self-serving minions that should be held accountable from their senior management. This will not happen since the senior management endorses such activities. If an employee questions such activities they are shelved professionally and abused on a daily basis. Things need to change but not with corrupt senior management that allows this.

Wed, Jan 22, 2020

Both democrat and republican administrations going back to Carter, Clinton, Bush Jr, Regan, Obama and the make America great again president all have gone out of their way to demonize civil servants. They manipulate statistics and lie indicating how well civil servants have it. The management minions in civil service have found that if they have no spine and go along with the current lemming mentality they will get bonuses, phony telework (on vacation without taking annual leave) and making up pretend civil service regulations at a whim. The unions are too weak to do anything other than talk and take employees dues. The big outfit in Bethesda is a good example of corrupt management endorsed by the even more corrupt senior management levels.

Tue, Jan 14, 2020 Briyvonne Wash, DC

It is very disturbing to hear any individual criticize telework for federal employees. It leaves me wonder if there is some level of brainwashing going on here or just individuals blindly following. Telework for federal employees do not just benefit federal employees. The government and the taxpayer benefit more. The government has saved an enormous amount of money on leasing space, telecommunication, electricity and a host of other things (to much to list them all). You would have to just not be thinking or you have just been fooled if you think telework is a privilege for federal employees and benefits only federal workers. The government does not even have the space available to house all of the federal workers and contractors. This is because space that the government was paying for to lease to house all of these individuals no longer exist. Which amounted to money saved by the way. If all the federal employees decided to stop using their resources at home to do their jobs (electricity, internet bill and home space to name a few) and reported back to the federal work place how would the government accommodate the space needed. It is just a trade of expenses (commuting cost for increase in household cost) I would like to see how the government would handle employee's deciding to work from strength and eliminate this threat being held over their head. It will get old at some point. Just like any form of crying wolf! I think it is poor game playing to threaten to discontinue something that would negatively impact the one doing the threatening. I mean what is the federal employee really gaining by teleworking. Oh a commute! That is it! Because, just in case someone doesn't know or is not aware, federal employees work harder at home! The individuals who are not working harder at home are the same ones who do not work hard no matter where their desk is located! I am sick of hearing people make comments concerning something they have little to no factual information. These individuals speculate because they have not taken a poll or done any actual fact finding!

Tue, Jan 14, 2020 mm

Sonny Perdue severely limited telework at USDA after walking in and not seeing enough peons sitting at their desk. But there's an initiative to make the government a more attractive place to work. What's wrong with this picture?

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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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