AFGE Scores Wins as House, Senate Pass Defense Authorization Bills

Categories: DoD, The Insider

AFGE scored several major wins in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). 

Even though President Trump has threated to veto the legislation, the House of Representatives and the Senate last week passed their versions of the 2021 NDAA with several AFGE priorities aimed at protecting the federal workforce and taxpayer dollars. 

Thanks to the hard work of our union staff and activists, the House July 21 voted 295-125 to pass the bill with measures important to federal workers. Two days later, the Senate voted 86-14 to pass its own version.  

House and Senate conferees will meet to iron out differences on the bills.  

Here are some of the highlights in the House bill:    

  1. Prevents the Department of Defense from stripping civilian workers of their collective bargaining rights 
  2. Equalizes locality pay for Wage Grade and General Schedule employees  
  3. Prohibits arbitrary reductions of the DOD civilian workforce and prohibiting the Secretary of Defense from reducing programmed civilian full-time equivalent projections without an analysis of impacts on workload, military force structure, readiness, lethality, stress on force, and costs 
  4. Pauses DoD’s medical reorganization through 2025 by establishing a framework for ensuring military medical treatment facilities are not downsized in a way that would reduce the quality of care of beneficiary populations. The effects of this on-going medical reorganization could result in closure of military medical treatment facilities and downsizing of civilian employees 
  5. Restores jobs that had been proposed for reduction in the President's Budget cut at the Defense Contract Management Agency and the Defense Contract Audit Agency 
  6. Pauses DoD’s plans to merge commissaries and exchanges by requiring submission of a revised business case to Congress that addressed flaws in the Defense Resale Task Force’s assumptions on savings and investment costs 
  7. Establishes a governance framework for improving interagency coordination on the production, distribution, and pricing of medical equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), and testing kits through enhanced reporting and auditing of Executive Branch implementation of the Defense Production Act to combat the coronavirus pandemic – mirroring a provision included in the HEROES Act 
  8. Allows federal employees to carry over annual leave they would otherwise lose at the end of the year 
  9. Extends authority to provide premium pay and grant allowances, benefits, and gratuities to DoD civilian employees deployed overseas or in combat zones. 

The highlights in the Senate bill:  

  1. Prohibits additional base realignments and closures  
  2. Restores jobs that had been cut at the Defense Contract Management Agency 
  3. Extends authority to provide premium pay and grant allowances, benefits, and gratuities to DoD civilian employees deployed overseas or in combat zones.  

Stay tuned for more updates on NDAA. 

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