NARFE Addresses Skills Gap, Salary, Benefits as Critical Retention, Recruitment Factors before Commission on Public Service

Alexandria, Va. (May 15, 2019) – Citing the public’s negative perception of public servants and   the mission-critical skills gap at federal agencies, NARFE Staff Vice President of Advocacy Jessica Klement testified today before the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service about the challenges facing the federal government as it attempts to attract and retain a highly skilled and top-performing workforce.

The American people’s trust in the federal government recently hit its lowest point in more than two decades, and we are only a few months removed from the 35-day government shutdown. None of us should be surprised that our government faces a recruitment problem,” said Klement.

“While countering negative public perceptions of the federal government and filling skills gaps present substantial challenges for the federal government, they are not insurmountable.”

“In addition to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) consistently placing strategic human capital management on its high-risk list, the federal workforce’s demographics and retirement trends aggravate the problem of closing the mission-critical skills gaps at agencies and impede the government from cost-effectively serving the public,” continued Klement. “Nearly one-third of employees are older than 55, while only 8 percent are younger than 30. With more than 30 percent of federal workers eligible to retire in the next five years, the lack of younger employees is troubling. And at a time when the value our nation places on public service seems to be at an all-time low, our need for a major influx of talent appears to be near an all-time high.”

Klement also provided principles for the Commission to abide by when considering changes to federal employee benefits. Specifically, she proposed only applying perspective changes to future hires; maintaining overall compensation at an equivalent (or greater) value; and preserving income and health benefit security for public servants in retirement.

A copy of Klement’s full testimony can be found here.

In addition to Klement, the Commission heard from the following witnesses:

•    Terry Gerton, President and CEO, National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA).    
•    Eddie Hartwig, Deputy Administrator, U.S. Digital Service (USDS).
•    Travis Hoadley, Senior Advisor, Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer, Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
•    Dr. Elizabeth Kolmstetter, Director of Talent Strategy and Engagement, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

About the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service

The National Commission on Military, National and Public Service is a bipartisan commission tasked, for the first time in American history, with comprehensively and holistically reviewing the Selective Service System, along with military, national and public service. The Commission hopes to ignite a national conversation about service to the country as it develops recommendations for the Congress, the President and the American public by March 2020.

About NARFE

The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) was founded in 1921 with the mission of protecting the earned rights and benefits of America’s active and retired federal workers. One of the largest federal employee/retiree organizations, NARFE represents the interests of 5 million current and future federal and postal annuitants, spouses and survivors. 

 

CONTACT:
Jill Talley
NARFE Director of Public Relations
jtalley@narfe.org
(703) 838-7760

 

National Active and Retired

FEDERAL EMPLOYEES Association

NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association) 606 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314, Phone: (703) 838-7760, Fax: (703) 838-7785.

 

This is the only website that reflects the official opinions and positions of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE). Opinions and/or positions that appear on any other site bearing NARFE's name or seal are not necessarily those of NARFE. Click here for Privacy Statement.   NARFE has been certified by Dun & Bradstreet.

NARFE Addresses Skills Gap, Salary, Benefits as Critical Retention, Recruitment Factors before Commission on Public Service

Alexandria, Va. (May 15, 2019) – Citing the public’s negative perception of public servants and   the mission-critical skills gap at federal agencies, NARFE Staff Vice President of Advocacy Jessica Klement testified today before the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service about the challenges facing the federal government as it attempts to attract and retain a highly skilled and top-performing workforce.

The American people’s trust in the federal government recently hit its lowest point in more than two decades, and we are only a few months removed from the 35-day government shutdown. None of us should be surprised that our government faces a recruitment problem,” said Klement.

“While countering negative public perceptions of the federal government and filling skills gaps present substantial challenges for the federal government, they are not insurmountable.”

“In addition to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) consistently placing strategic human capital management on its high-risk list, the federal workforce’s demographics and retirement trends aggravate the problem of closing the mission-critical skills gaps at agencies and impede the government from cost-effectively serving the public,” continued Klement. “Nearly one-third of employees are older than 55, while only 8 percent are younger than 30. With more than 30 percent of federal workers eligible to retire in the next five years, the lack of younger employees is troubling. And at a time when the value our nation places on public service seems to be at an all-time low, our need for a major influx of talent appears to be near an all-time high.”

Klement also provided principles for the Commission to abide by when considering changes to federal employee benefits. Specifically, she proposed only applying perspective changes to future hires; maintaining overall compensation at an equivalent (or greater) value; and preserving income and health benefit security for public servants in retirement.

A copy of Klement’s full testimony can be found here.

In addition to Klement, the Commission heard from the following witnesses:

•    Terry Gerton, President and CEO, National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA).    
•    Eddie Hartwig, Deputy Administrator, U.S. Digital Service (USDS).
•    Travis Hoadley, Senior Advisor, Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer, Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
•    Dr. Elizabeth Kolmstetter, Director of Talent Strategy and Engagement, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

About the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service

The National Commission on Military, National and Public Service is a bipartisan commission tasked, for the first time in American history, with comprehensively and holistically reviewing the Selective Service System, along with military, national and public service. The Commission hopes to ignite a national conversation about service to the country as it develops recommendations for the Congress, the President and the American public by March 2020.

About NARFE

The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) was founded in 1921 with the mission of protecting the earned rights and benefits of America’s active and retired federal workers. One of the largest federal employee/retiree organizations, NARFE represents the interests of 5 million current and future federal and postal annuitants, spouses and survivors. 

 

CONTACT:
Jill Talley
NARFE Director of Public Relations
jtalley@narfe.org
(703) 838-7760

 



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NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association) 606 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314, Phone: (703) 838-7760, Fax: (703) 838-7785.

 

This is the only website that reflects the official opinions and positions of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE). Opinions and/or positions that appear on any other site bearing NARFE's name or seal are not necessarily those of NARFE. Click here for Privacy Statement.   NARFE has been certified by Dun & Bradstreet.