ISSA, CHAFFETZ TARGET VETS FOR TERMINATION
House leaders just announced that they are coming after veterans, including those with injuries, by making it easier to fire them and deny them other rights. Yup! God’s honest truth. Today’s e-media carried a story about how eager House leaders like Chaffetz of Utah are to make it easier to fire federal employees. Chaffetz, apparently ignorant of the MSPB statistics showing that more than 70% of the time a federal agency fires an employee the firing is upheld even upon an appeal and the fact that employees terminated in their probationary period are almost never reinstated—a 100% success termination rate for agencies, told the media, “It is almost impossible to fire somebody,” in the federal government.
However, what Chaffetz and the media failed to bring out is that thanks to President Obama’s program to promote the hiring of veterans, 44% of federal employees are now veterans. The Air Force alone filled 62% of its non-seasonal permanent vacancies in FY 2015 with veterans. Consequently, when Chaffetz launches his legislative armada to expose federal employees to whimsical terminations he is actually putting a bulls eye on the back of veterans almost 50% of the time.
Hopefully, some federal union will figure out how to build a “fight-back” campaign around this link to protecting veterans. While the unions certainly need to work together to defend federal employee rights, we are keeping our fingers crossed that they enlist the various veteran groups, maybe even form an on-going alliance with them, to drive home the point that contempt for federal employees is largely contempt for veterans. It is hard enough for a veteran, especially an injured veteran, to get a job upon leaving the uniformed service. It is downright cruel to usher them into a federal job and simultaneously make it easier to wipe a huge black smear across their future job prospects by removing or reducing their due process protections.