00:20:29 - 00:23:47 Forest Service
Forest Service, employee, opinion, career, actions, outsourcing, government, downsizing, effect, morale, change
Well I have some questions about the U.S. Forest Service. Just in general, how do you feel about working for or with an agency that is part of the U.S. Forest Service?
I think, for me, it's a good job. When I started I thought I was only going to be here one year because that's all we had money for with the bioremediation stuff and you know it's 22 years. I think the Forest Service is good, you know recently they've done some things that I guess I wouldn't agree with necessarily, but for me it has been a good place to work. When I compare you know like benefits or pay or anything with the same degree somewhere else they wouldn't be nearly probably as good as what I get with the Forest Service or the federal government. So it has been good for me.
What are some of the projects that they've been doing recently that have been kind of---you've been a little unsure about?
Actually the things the Forest Service has done that I've been a little unsure about is they started this whole contracting out business. I understand the whole point you know I know it came from the administration it's not just the Forest Service. The whole point was to, of course, downsize the government and make it smaller and I understand that and that's good provided it does save the government money. However, in the examples that I have heard it hasn't done that, instead it's more hurt the government or hurt the Forest Service. So that would be the main one I guess, that I would say that I would have problems with.
How do you think that has effected the Forest Products Lab?
I would say it made morale go down fast because what it did was---so when they do this contracting out there are certain groups that will be up for it like say RFE or our photography section or something like that so then essentially what you got to do is you got to compete for your own job. You know so there is a possibility you could lose and lose your job, you might get it and you might not. And when you have family or anything it is very important and it can't help but affect your morale or mentality on this. So I think it brings morale down a lot because all of a sudden your job is competitive or they say oh someone can do it cheaper assuming you're replaceable just like that and I think that's not good.
Do you see that changing in the next ten, twenty years?
Actually I think it's started to change already. My understanding---and this is just my understanding, I'm not sure if it's right or wrong---is that a lot of the contracting or outsourcing, whatever you want to call it, I think some of that has stopped now. I haven't heard about things where you have to change---you know write actually everything you do to justify your own work. I haven't heard of groups here doing that so much anymore so I think it might---I'm not saying it has stopped---but I think it has slowed down for a couple of years and I believe---and I'm not a hundred percent sure about this---I think our union might have had something to do with that, getting it at least slowed down. So I don't know if it's over but it should be slower.