Currently, the temporary workers are not allowed to compete for the permanent jobs under the merit system promotion procedures available to others. That can lead to high attrition, increased training costs and an erosion of federal firefighting capabilities, according to Connolly.
Along with Connolly, the Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act, which the committee approved with a unanimous voice vote, is sponsored by Reps. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and Don Young (R-Ark.).
Mark Davis, vice president of the National Federation of Federal Employees, praised the measure, saying it “removes a nonsensical regulatory barrier to career-advancement opportunities for long-serving federal wild land firefighters and other temporary seasonal workers.”