Land Management Workforce Bill Advances
Legislation (H.R. 1531) that would make employees of land management agencies serving under temporary seasonal appointments eligible to compete for permanent competitive service positions is advancing through Congress.
The legislation applies to temporary seasonal “1039” employees with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), and the Bureau of Reclamation.
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Ranking Member of the Oversight Subcommittee on Government Reform, introduced the legislation, the Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act, with Congressmen Rob Bishop (R-UT) and Don Young (R-AK), the current and former chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, as original cosponsors.
“Many federal land management employees, including wildland firefighters, work on a seasonal basis on time-limited appointments as seasonal employees,” Congressman Connolly said. “These employees are terminated each season and often re-hired in subsequent seasons. Because of their status, benefits and career advancement opportunities are limited. Our bipartisan legislation would put them on equal footing with other Federal employees with respect to competing for vacant jobs in the civil service, including permanent seasonal jobs.”
“H.R. 1531 is common-sense legislation that removes needless bureaucratic barriers currently preventing some of our experienced temporary employees from competing for permanent seasonal positions,” said Congressman Young. “This legislation would significantly reduce the costs associated with the high attrition rate in our nation’s temporary seasonal workforce, and enhance the pool of highly-qualified applicants that compete for permanent seasonal positions. It’s truly a win-win situation for our federal land management agencies.”
The House bill has 14 additional bipartisan cosponsors, and was favorably reported from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
The House approved the bill today.
Companion legislation (S. 1522; S. 1591) has been introduced in the Senate by Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Jon Tester (D-MT).
Posted in From the Hill