Unfair Forest Service Hiring Practices: The Continuing Saga

Added to all the other ones! Here is the whole shameful story!

Amidst active contract negotiations, and after months of urging the U.S. Forest Service to end flawed hiring practices that limit who can apply for jobs in the Agency, NFFE Exposes Shameful Hiring Practice by the U.S. Forest Service Amidst active contract negotiations, and after months of urging the U.S. Forest Service to end flawed hiring practices that limit who can apply for jobs in the Agency, NFFE’s Forest Service Council (FSC) decided they needed to take a new approach with negotiations. On June 7, 2016, the FSC took their fight to the streets of Olympia, Wash. to conduct an informational handbilling outside of a Forest Service hiring event—one that required applicants to be physically present to apply.

At the June hiring event, the Forest Service was hiring for jobs across the country— as far away as South Dakota and Kentucky. However, to be considered for the vacant positions, applicants were required to appear and submit their applications in person in Olympia, Wash. Applicants unable to attend in person were automatically not considered for these jobs, regardless of their experience. This requirement effectively eliminated interested current Forest Service employees—many of whom have a great deal of experience and are the most qualified to fill these vacancies—that simply did not have the means or were unable to get away from their current obligations to apply for these jobs in person.

“By requiring interested applicants to appear in person, the Forest Service has effectively eliminated applicants from the rest of the country,” said Lisa Wolfe, NFFE Forest Service Council Vice President. “That is not fair to current employees or other applicants living in those areas. It also makes it impossible for the Forest Service to field the best pool of applicants. Anyone who cares about healthy forests or having an effective government workforce should want to see this hiring practice stopped immediately.”

To make matters worse, in April, Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell was asked about their practice of hiring events requiring applicants to appear in person in order to be considered for jobs in different states. Chief Tidwell assured Congress that applicants should be able to send in applications to be considered during job fairs. However, at the June hiring event, that simply was not the case. The Forest Service continued to use a closed process that eliminated from consideration some of the most qualified candidates.

“We cannot stand idly by as the Forest Service continues a hiring practice that is unfair to potential applicants, is bad for the agency, and ultimately short-changes American taxpayers,” said Wolfe. “People should not be expected to travel halfway across the country to compete for a job that pays less than 14 dollars an hour. This hiring practice is ridiculous, and it needs to stop.”


2 thoughts on “Unfair Forest Service Hiring Practices: The Continuing Saga”

  1. Yes, this does seem out of keeping with the need to have a robust search for hires… does the FS have an explanation for why they think that this a good idea?

    • Once again, we’re seeing that the Forest Service doesn’t value the work of their temporary employees. It’s an on-going situation where they think it is easy and OK to re-train new “grunts” every year. If they happen to find a quality “diverse” candidate, they will find a way to shoehorn that person into position.


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