June 27, 2005
Support the Van Hollen Amendment to Transportation, Treasury, HUD Appropriations
When the House considers the FY ‘06 Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development bill this week, Representative Chris Van Hollen will offer an amendment that seeks to ensure that agencies use a fair public-private competition process before federal jobs are privatized. The undersigned organizations ask for your support for this amendment.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has been relentless in its rush to privatize the federal government’s workforce, regardless of the costs involved or the disruptions in government services to the taxpayers. Last year, the House of Representatives rejected the Administration’s privatization initiative by a strong bipartisan vote of 210-187 on the exact same amendment offered by Representative Van Hollen. The year before, the same Van Hollen amendment passed the House 220-198. Unfortunately, OMB made sure that both the FY ’04 and FY ’05 Omnibus bills were stripped of any provisions that would level the playing field for federal employees. This week, the House has an opportunity to vote once again to ensure more accountability and fairness in the process used to determine whether government jobs should be performed by federal employees or privatized.
The Van Hollen amendment would prohibit agencies from using funds for the new A-76 contracting procedures. OMB revised its A-76 Circular in May 2003 in order to eliminate more federal jobs, and move more jobs to the private sector with less accountability from contractors. OMB’s A-76 revisions strongly favor contractors over federal employees in competitions, and will result in more government activities being privatized at higher costs to the taxpayers. In addition, OMB’s A-76 rewrite trumped Congress on the sensitive issue of determining whether a function is inherently governmental and therefore protected from privatization. The Van Hollen amendment would not prohibit agencies from contracting out work. But it would force OMB to go back to the drawing board and develop an A-76 process that is fair to federal employees and a better deal for taxpayers or resort to the previous A-76 Circular.
We urge you to support the common-sense Van Hollen amendment. This amendment will not prevent agencies from contracting out. However, we believe passage of this amendment will go a long way to ensuring a fair public-private competition process that spends taxpayer dollars wisely. For more information, please contact John Threlkeld, AFGE at 202-737-8700 or Andrea Salinas, NTEU at 202-572-5500.
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE, COUNTY & MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES
COMMUNICATIONS WORKERS OF AMERICA
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACE WORKERS
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF POLICE OFFICERS
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS
INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF PROFESSIONAL & TECHNICAL ENGINEERS
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES
NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES UNION
PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES DEPARTMENT, AFL-CIO
SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION
TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION
UNITED AUTO WORKERS