Federal workers worried about being transferred, demoted or canned because or reorganizations ought to watch what is about to happen at Housing and Urban Development.
The oft-reorganized HUD is preparing to do it again. It is planning a major field shakeup that will text management's ability to shift human resources within the framework of President Carter's pledge, made to HUD employees in February, that nobody will get hurt.
HUD's 10 regional administrators are in town this week. THey will map out the nots and bolts details of the field reorganization that will hit some 900 to 1,000 of the department's 11,000 non-Washington work force.
Some congressmen and housing industry officials are unhappy because the reshuffle will take jobs and functions from many small communities. They will be consolidated into beefedup "service offices." Although HUD has been under heavy pressure to delay the reorganization, officials here say it is still full steam ahead.
So far, HUD brass say, no employee has been fired, demoted or transferred. That is what the regional directors will help decide this week. It is expected that between 100 and 150 field employees will be transferred back to Washington. Most of the field workers whose jobs will be hit by the reorganization are in grades 13, 14 and 15, People of that rank, and salary ($26,000 to $47,000) have a big impact inthe communities where they live and work.
More than 50 Senate and House members have joined in cosponsoring a resolution that would require HUD to delay the reorganization until Congress has either reacting to complaints from their constituents (both HUD employees and clients in the housing industry), or see this as a way to further centralize and politicize HUD operations.
Although three of the top 10 HUD regional administrators came from the career ranks, all now hold Schedule C political appointments, and were named by the Carter administration.
Despite the antireorganization howls from Congress, top HUD officials say the changes will proceed on schedule. They expect the first personnel actions will actually take place in February or March. Some Washington experts however, believe the reorganization may be delayed, or at least slowed, despite the intention of HUD officials to push ahead.
Meantime, HUD regional officials will begin meeting with their Washington counterparts today to may out the reorganization. One important item they must decide (and this goes for other agencies facing reorganization) is what, if anything, to do about the President's pledge that nobody will lose a job or be demoted because ofreorganization.The way HUD handles - or ignores - that issue could set the tone for other reorganizations in other agencies.