Employees at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are not going down without a fight.
According to American Banker, the union representing the employees is already battling plans by acting Director Mick Mulvaney to restructure the agency — and is preparing for a bigger fight if he moves to cut jobs.
“NTEU will fight legislative and agency proposals that would starve the CFPB of the resources and personnel necessary to do the job as required by statute,” said Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union. “The agency should not undercut that mission by pressuring employees to leave or refusing to use the revenue it is entitled to use in order to force a downsizing."
The union has already stalled Mulvaney’s plan to move the fair-lending office out of the division of supervision and enforcement and effectively downgrade it to part of the director's division. The union was formerly notified of the changes in April, and the process would take several months, according to Reardon.
“Part of that process is engaging management in negotiations regarding the implementation of its reorganization plans which helps make the reorganization a smoother process for employees and the agency,” he said.
And this week, it was announced that the CFPB has ended all functions of its student lending office, except for consumer education. That means that instead of examining student loan complaints that could be referred to the agency’s enforcement division, staff will be working on pamphlets and web content about student loans.
Although there hasn't been an announcement regarding layoffs, the union seems to be anticipating it, and even observers believe the move is likely since Mulvaney aims to reduce the role of the agency.
“NTEU would seek other options for workers, including reassignments to continuing positions; career transition assistance; retirement counseling; time to search for other jobs outside of the agency; and voluntary early outs and separation incentive payments,” Reardon said.