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Biden pledges help federal workforce

The Eisenhower Executive Office Building, home to the Office of Management and Budget. (Image credit: Andrea Izzotti/

The Biden-Harris administration isn't done reversing Trump era "damage" to the federal workforce, a White House official charged with working on federal management and agency performance issues said on Monday.

"In my less than one month here, I've come to learn anecdotally and quantitatively just how systematically the federal workforce has been damaged, disrespected and demoralized over the last few years," said Pam Coleman, a former Obama White House official, who's serving as the director for performance management within the Office of Management and Budget and leading efforts to revitalize the federal workforce. "Each week we seem to uncover more damage."

So far, President Joe Biden has already issued a series of executive orders that reversed key workforce policies of former President Donald Trump, including the establishment of a new category of federal worker subject at-will employment rules and orders curtailing the ability of the unionized workforce to handle union business during work hours.

The work isn't done, though, Coleman said.

"We continue to assess the full extent of the damage from the previous administration's policies, actions and rhetoric, and are supporting and collaborating with [the Office of Personnel Management] to identify the best strategies to reverse these impacts and rebuild the federal workforce," she said.

OPM is also seeking renewal as the leader of personnel and labor issues in the federal government, said Rob Shriver, the associate director for employee services at OPM, during an online event hosted by Government Executive. The agency had been slated for a merger into the General Services Administration, which was thwarted by congressional Democrats.

Shriver and Coleman also repeatedly stressed the new administration's welcoming tone toward the federal workforce as compared to the Trump administration, which often took a distrustful, combative stance on the federal workforce.

"I'm here because the president has made you a priority. He sees you, believes in you and trusts you," Coleman said. "The president has made it clear that the federal government is a place where staff are protected, empowered and respected."

Reader comments

Mon, Mar 29, 2021

Complete BS! If you think one party's politicians care any more about the federal workforce than the other's, you haven't been watching. They are like the Jets and the Sharks, and we are their turf. This nonsense is a sop to the unions, for which this rag is an all-too-willing mouthpiece. Want to encourage the federal workforce? At-will rules get rid of deadwood employees and retired-on-the-job managers and executives. Legislate changes in union status to focus on their traditional role of workforce training and development and curb their political activities and endless litigation. It's the WORK, stupid!

Tue, Mar 16, 2021 Elizabeth Colorado

I never felt as though Donald Trump damaged my career with the federal government. May I remind everyone, that Trump gave us two additional holidays a year off in 2020 that were never gifted to us by any other President. I believe in 2019, we had one additional day off (December 24th).

Sun, Mar 14, 2021

It is not all about money. The Trump administration did indeed demoralize federal workers. The Trump administration did not care for the federal workforce. It did all it could to run employees out. The Trump Administration top members were crooks and untrustworthy.

Thu, Mar 11, 2021

As usual nor lies from our Democratic friends!!

Thu, Mar 11, 2021 Alabama

Just to be sure, the President recommends an increase, but congress approves. So are you saying Obama did not recommend a raise for federal workers or that congress didn't approve an increasse?

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