Last October, during the heat of the election, we looked at a survey of federal employees which claimed that 35% of them were actively considering leaving their jobs if Donald J. Trump were to be elected president. At the time I had reservations about how serious this trend was because partisans tend to say all sorts of things during a contentious race. (Just recall all the celebrities who were supposedly fleeing the country during that same period and yet we’re still stuck with every last one of them.) But now the deed has been done and it’s time for everyone to put their resignation letter where their mouth is.
Have things changed? According to the latest rendition of the same survey, not very much. There are still more than a quarter of current federal workers who claim they’re looking toward the exits. And the primary reason given is that they object to Donald Trump’s declared plans to implement a federal hiring freeze and reduce the workforce. (Government Executive)
Less than two-thirds of the federal workforce is firmly committed to staying on the job following the election of Donald Trump as president, according to a new survey.
More than one in four federal workers, or 28 percent, will definitely or possibly consider leaving their jobs after Jan. 20 when Trump is sworn into office and becomes leader of the executive branch, according to a new Government Business Council/GovExec.com poll. Sixty-five percent of feds say they will not consider ending their federal service…
For those who opt to leave government, their jobs could remain vacant for an extended period of time as Trump has vowed to freeze hiring across agencies immediately upon taking office. Just 15 percent of feds said they hold a positive view of that proposed policy, while 67 percent expressed a negative view.
So let me get this straight. You object to Donald Trump’s plan to reduce the federal workforce, so you’re going to protest that policy by… reducing the federal workforce for him?
Well, okay then. Thanks for your service, I guess…
Before we get too carried away here, I would bring up the same thing I noted after the October survey was published. The wording of the questions leaves these workers with even more wiggle room than Lena Dunham and her cancelled plans to relocate to Toronto. The unhappy workers were indicating that they would “definitely or possibly consider leaving their jobs” after the inauguration. When you’re looking at the stack of bills to be paid in the coming months, there’s a pretty long stretch between possibly considering quitting and actually marching in to tell the boss that he or she can stick his or her job where the sun don’t shine.
Also, among the ones sounding most likely to actually leave, the majority are already eligible for retirement and are currently hanging around longer than they had to anyway. That’s not exactly the hallmark of a grand gesture if you ask me. If you truly wanted to voice your displeasure and make a powerful statement you could walk out the door and tell them that you’ll refuse to accept any retirement benefits from a government which would peacefully transition power to a person you didn’t vote for.
We’ll try to stay on top of this story over the course of 2017. It will be interesting to learn how many people actually turn in their notice as compared to how many are shown the door when the new broom sweeps clean. I’m guessing it won’t be many.