This week, the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE-IAM) responded to correspondence from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack with a letter outlining solutions and next steps to help alleviate retention problems among federal wildland firefighters. The proposed solutions include permanent pay raises, increased funding and staffing, and the development of a robust occupational series, among other things.
“NFFE, Secretary Vilsack, and other leaders within USDA have a great working relationship and a commitment to reforming the wildland firefighting workforce for a better future,” said President Erwin. “However, it was necessary to share the concerns that we were hearing from our members on pay, the occupational series, and other issues. As we begin making policies to resolve these issues, it is critical that we address each problem as best as possible, and that we do it right the first time. We are confident that Secretary Vilsack will join us in implementing solutions that NFFE wildland firefighters have recommended to meet the challenges we see today.”