How Does The Trump Administration’s Hiring Freeze Affect Veterans?
During the election campaign, President Donald Trump promised that he will clean up corruption and collision in the government with the help of federal hiring freeze. So what does it mean?
A hiring freeze is when employers stop hiring people to fill unnecessary positions. The main reason why this happens is due to the consolidation of current employees, streamlining of the company, and helping in reducing the expenses. This is a better alternative than employee layoffs. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will not hire anyone. They can still employ in areas that need immediate workers or positions that can greatly help generate revenue for the company. On the other hand, the positions that are not essential may be permanently removed after evaluating that it doesn’t carry out essential tasks for the business.
As part of Trump’s plan to ‘make America great again’, he signed an order on the first Monday of his presidency that freezes the hiring process in any position in the government. However, not all federal employees are affected. According to the memorandum, there is an exemption in the hiring process of the military personnel and “the head of any executive department or agency may exempt from the hiring freeze any positions that it deems necessary to meet national security or public safety responsibilities.” The term ‘military personnel’ generally means those who are in uniform. In the first White House press briefing headed by White House press secretary Sean Spicer, he said that money issues in the government will be resolved with the help of hiring freeze of Trump.
“Some people are working two, three jobs just to get by. And to see money get wasted in Washington on a job that is duplicative is insulting to the hard work that they do to pay their taxes. And I think that that comes into your question, in overall spending as well. We’ve got to look at how we’re spending the American people’s tax money.” – Sean Spicer
Less than a month has passed and we can clearly see the repercussions of the hiring freeze. A report by USA Today stated that the Department of Veterans Affairs is included in the memorandum. Spicer defended Trump’s decision stating that it is a necessary action in order to analyze everything and to create a plan that will help fix several issues.
“And I think the VA in particular, if you look at the problems that have plagued people, hiring more people isn’t the answer, it’s hiring the right people, putting the procedures in place that ensure that our veterans — whether health care or mortgages or the other services that VA provides to those who have served our nation — get the services that they’ve earned.” – Sean Spicer
On February 17, military families located at a U.S. base in Germany, the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden, were notified that multiple child care programs would stop at the end of the month. The VoteVets, a progressive veterans’ advocacy organization tweeted a photo of the notification letter. According to the letter, the child care programs will be closed due to staff shortage as a result of the federal hiring freeze. They are not able to replace staff who resigned from their positions.
According to Will Fischer, a member of the VoteVets, the main problem with childcare suspensions on military bases is the lack of communication in the Trump administration and the confusion with the order. Based on the initial memo from the Department of Defense, the hiring freeze should not include child care programs. However, the second memo states that before any new hires could be made, it requires permission from the secretary first.
The hiring freeze greatly affects veterans in two ways: First, it prevents them from receiving the benefits that are entitled to and from getting jobs. The VA agency is currently understaffed and very inefficient. There have over 3,000 job openings posted on their website and last year there was a report of over 41,000 job openings in VA hospitals. Thus, we can only conclude that veterans are not able to fully receive their benefits. In addition, there are a huge number of veterans that are federal employees – estimated size is 623,000. With the hiring freeze activated, several veterans that are transitioning out of the military will definitely have a hard time getting the job they need. We are just hoping that these important details will be resolved quickly so that the affected people will be able to get jobs and receive their benefits.
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