From: Office of the Secretary
Sent: Thursday, April 16, 2015 8:17 PM
Subject: Message from the Secretary
April 16, 2015
This morning a congressional subcommittee held yet another hearing on the subject of low morale at various government agencies. Catherine Emerson, our Chief Human Capital Officer, was called as a witness.
But, before the hearing this subcommittee got a surprise personal visit from me.
My message to Congress (and the press): one of the ways we are improving morale is to stop telling the workforce you suffer from low morale. We have moved on. We are no longer “studying” the issue of morale. We are doing something about it.
The Deputy Secretary and I have an action plan to address concerns about fairness and transparency in hiring, promotion and training opportunities. We are building a pilot program to share employee ideas. We are thanking people for their good work. We are undertaking a number of other initiatives.
This morning I also told Congress that they can work with me, by addressing pay and workforce issues. In fact, the men and women all across the Department of Homeland Security are upbeat, dedicated and patriotic.
In 479 days as your Secretary, I have met enough of you to know this. Last month, I wrote you about Carol Richel, the TSA supervisor in New Orleans who suffered a gunshot wound on one day and came to work the next day. Carol is an example of the spirit I see every day-ranging from the TSA and CBP personnel I met yesterday at the Philadelphia airport, to the health care worker who treated Ebola victims in West Africa, and the Border Patrol agents I met last summer working overtime on the southern border.
Each of you deserves a thank you from the American people. Keep up the good work.
Jeh Charles Johnson
Secretary of Homeland Security