Politics EPA plans buyouts to reduce workforce under Trump

00:25  20 april  2017
00:25  20 april  2017 Source:   The Hill

White House to lift federal hiring freeze

  White House to lift federal hiring freeze The White House will lift President Trump's federal hiring freeze on Wednesday, following fire from critics who said it hampered the government from carrying out core functions. The end of the freeze is part of guidance ordering federal departments and agencies to submit restructuring plans to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) by the fall."It does not mean the agencies will be free to hire willy-nill y," OMB Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters Tuesday.

The agency is keeping in place a hiring freeze and will offer employees buyouts to reduce its workforce . Trump ’s budget blueprint proposes a 31 percent reduction in the EPA ’s funding, a plan that would also reduce the agency ’s 15,000 jobs by 3,200.

(CNN) The Environmental Protection Agency is planning to reduce its workforce through buyouts and an early retirement program, according to an CNN reported last week that 350 jobs went unfilled at the EPA under the Trump administration's hiring freeze, and no new positions could be created.

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Top officials at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will maintain a freeze on external hiring and offer employees buyouts this year as part of a Trump administration workforce restructuring plan.

In a memo sent to agency officials and regional administrators, EPA acting deputy administrator Michael Flynn said the agency will continue a hiring freeze put in place at the beginning of the Trump administration.

The memo, provided to The Hill, said the EPA would also "begin the necessary steps to initiate an early out/buyout program" this year following a workforce restructuring directive from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) last week.

Trump asks government agencies for plans to cut spending

  Trump asks government agencies for plans to cut spending <p>President Donald Trump, who has proposed cuts to an array of government agencies, is asking department heads to offer up plans to operate more efficiently.</p>President Donald Trump, who has proposed cuts to an array of government agencies, is asking department heads to offer up plans to operate more efficiently.

The Environmental Protection Agency said this week that it would begin the process of shrinking its 15,000-employee workforce through buyouts But the EPA , in particular, has been a central target of the Trump administration. The president has promised in the past to reduce the agency to “tidbits.”

(CNN) -- The Environmental Protection Agency is planning to reduce its workforce through buyouts and an early retirement program CNN reported last week that 350 jobs went unfilled at the EPA under the Trump administration's hiring freeze, and no new positions could be created.

The buyout program is due to be completed by the end of September, Flynn wrote.

OMB last week lifted a government-wide hiring freeze that critics said was hurting federal operations. But it also ordered departments and agencies to write restructuring plans for their workforces.

"What we're doing ... is replacing the across-the-board hiring freeze that was put in place on day one and replacing it with a smarter plan, a more strategic plan, a more surgical plan," OMB Director Mick Mulvaney said last week.

The directive instructed agencies to take "immediate actions" to reduce the size of workforces and develop plans to "maximize employee performance."

In his memo, Flynn said the EPA would begin the workforce reduction effort and continue the hiring freeze Trump ordered in January.

Trump administration lifts hiring freeze

  Trump administration lifts hiring freeze The federal hiring freeze imposed by President Trump in January is slated to be lifted Wednesday, but agencies won’t be allowed to hire willy-nilly, the president's chief budget officer said.Instead, White House officials expect them to staff up only in areas slated for expansion under the president’s budget proposal released last month, for example at the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

Last month, officials disclosed plans to set aside million for buyouts and early retirements this year, as part of an effort to begin “reshaping” the agency 's workforce under the Trump administration.

The Environmental Protection Agency is planning to reduce its workforce through buyouts and an early retirement program, according to an internal CNN reported last week that 350 jobs went unfilled at the EPA under the Trump administration’s hiring freeze, and no new positions could be created.

"While this memorandum ends the government-wide hiring freeze, each agency must determine based on its situation if a hiring freeze should continue," Flynn wrote in his memo.

"Given our resources situation, we will continue a freeze on external hiring."

An EPA spokesperson said the "streamlining" proposal is "good government and important to maximizing taxpayer dollars."

"This includes looking at developing opportunities for individuals to retire early," spokeswoman Liz Bowman said in an email.

"It's a process that mirrors what the Obama administration EPA did about four years ago, to ensure that payroll expenses do not overtake funds used for vital programs to protect the environment."

Trump's budget blueprint proposes a 31 percent reduction in the EPA's funding, a plan that would also reduce the agency's 15,000 jobs by 3,200. A regional labor union on Tuesday requested a meeting with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to discuss reports about closing an office in Chicago and reassigning its duties elsewhere.

-Timothy Cama contributed.

Court agrees to hold off ruling on carbon restrictions .
A federal appeals court agreed on Friday to postpone a ruling on lawsuits challenging Obama-era restrictions on carbon emissions. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, file) WASHINGTON — At the Trump administration's request, a federal appeals court agreed Friday to postpone a ruling on lawsuits challenging Obama-era res The Environmental Protection Agency had asked the court to put a hold on the case shortly after President Donald Trump signed an executive order vowing to roll back the Clean Power Plan.

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