The House Armed Services Committee Sept. 2 passed the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with several AFGE-backed provisions that will make the Department of Defense a better place to work, allowing them to serve our troops and maintain our national defense.
The key pro-worker provisions included in the NDAA will:
- Equalize local pay boundaries for most salaried and hourly federal employees. This provision makes sure that the government treats all employees who work in a given location equitably in terms of pay. Currently, some federal employees who work side-by-side in the exact same location are paid as if they work in different localities.
- Restore the one-year probationary period for new employees in the Department of Defense, ensuring they are treated the same as most other federal workers.
- Repeal changes to reduction in force rules applied to DoD workers in 2017 that reduced the role of seniority and veterans’ preference when determining which employees are retained, applying to DoD employees the same RIF procedures in effect for other federal workers.
- Clarifies previously approved language that prohibits the use of arbitrary personnel caps when determining the number of employees needed to carry out mission requirements.
- Prohibit the use of appropriated funds for hiring term or temporary workers for enduring functions.
- Require senior officials to complete and certify a checklist ensuring that statements of work and task orders submitted to contracting officers comply with longstanding statutes that prevent replacing DoD civilian employees with contractors, subject to annual DoD Inspector General Reviews; Require services contract budgets comply with these requirements.
- Revive reporting requirements on situations in which military members are pulled from training assignments or operational units to replace civilian employees and contractors, which is known as borrowed military manpower and ensure its adverse effects on readiness reports to Congress are captured.
In addition to the pro-worker language included in the NDAA, AFGE also was successful in preventing the inclusion of some recommendations from the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service that would have harmed the merit system by introducing subjective pay systems, substandard health care benefits, and expanded use of term and temporary hiring.