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SIOP Informs Policymakers of the Effects of Shutdown Furloughs on Federal Workforce

1/28/2019-

by SIOP Administrative Office

On January 23, the 33rd day of the partial government shutdown, SIOP President Talya Bauer sent the following letter to congressional leadership, urging them to consider I-O psychology findings on the destabilizing impacts of shutdown furloughs on the federal workforce.  The letter aligns with both SIOP’s advocacy mission to ensure I-O psychology research and practice are considered in the development of federal policies and the Society’s commitment to support our members impacted by the partial shutdown.     

President Trump has since agreed to negotiate a short-term reopening of the federal government to enable discussions on a larger border security and immigration compromise.  SIOP will continue to provide I-O psychology findings to policymakers to ensure the well-being of the federal workforce continues to be considered.  

 

 

January 23, 2019

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker
United States House of Representatives     
1236 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Republican Leader
United States Senate
317 Russell Senate Office Building          
Washington, DC 20510

 

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Republican Leader
United States House of Representatives
2468 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-0523

The Honorable Chuck Schumer
Democratic Leader
United States Senate
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-3202

Dear House and Senate Leaders,

The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) is grateful for your continued leadership and service to our nation.  As the President of the largest organization focused on the scientific study of human behavior in organizations and the workplace, I write today to express my concerns regarding the ongoing partial government shutdown and what industrial and organizational (I-O) psychology research shows about near and long-term implications for federal workers, both among our membership and across the nation. 

As you may know, SIOP is a community of more than 10,000 members worldwide with common interest in promoting the science, practice, and teaching of I-O psychology to enhance human well-being and performance in organizational and work settings. SIOP provides a platform for scientists, academics, consultants, and practitioners to collaborate, implement, and evaluate cutting-edge approaches to workplace challenges across sectors.  Our membership spans the private sector, academia, and public service, including several federal employees and contractors, many of whom have been adversely affected by the ongoing partial shutdown.

The current partial government shutdown and other disruptions over the past few years have led to extreme instability for federal workers.  The partial shutdown has placed stress on federal workers in numerous ways from being prevented from performing their critical jobs to having to work in an understaffed environment without pay while no apparent resolution is in sight.  I-O psychology research demonstrates the short- and long-term effects of these stressors, which include decreased organizational commitment, stress and exhaustion, reduced productivity, decreased trust, and dissatisfaction.  Research also shows that if these situations persist, employers will have increased difficulty in retaining and recruiting employees.

The federal workforce is essential to the effective and efficient operation of our federal government.  We urge you to consider the value of federal employees and how they contribute to the mission of serving the nation’s citizens as deliberations continue, and we are happy to share our scientific findings on the impacts of furloughs and other disruptions to federal employees.

Best regards,

Talya Bauer, Ph.D.