AFGE Urges Congress to Protect Workplace Rights at DoD

Categories: The Insider

Protecting collective bargaining rights at the Department of Defense and equalizing locality pay are some of AFGE’s priorities as House and Senate negotiators, known as conferees, are drafting the final version of the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  

Committee staff started conference negotiations last week while conferees will likely be appointed early September. The negotiations are expected to last until after the November election, the outcome of which will likely significantly impact the NDAA outcomes. 

AFGE Legislative Director Alethea Predeoux sent a letter to leadership on the House and Senate Armed Services committees, outlining the union's priorities for consideration during final negotiations on the NDAA.  

Here are some of the highlights of our union’s priorities. Item #1, #2, and #8 are on Trump’s veto list. 

  1. Prevent the Department of Defense from stripping civilian workers of their collective bargaining rights  
  2. Equalize locality pay for Wage Grade and General Schedule employees  
  3. Expand federal employee paid parental leave benefits to federal employees who are currently ineligible because they are not Title 5 employees  
  4. Prohibit arbitrary reductions of the DoD civilian workforce and require consideration of the impact of proposed reductions on workload, costs, readiness, lethality, and military force structure. This would strengthen statutory prohibitions against constraining the DoD civilian workforce. Further prohibit budgetary gimmicks that claim savings credit for "deferring requirements" or "assuming risk".  
  5. Improve the equal employment opportunity (EEO) process by getting agency lawyers out of supervision of the EEO process, a crucial reform that addresses the conflicts of interest and structural barriers to fair EEO processes across the federal government  
  6. Establish 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  
  7. Allow federal employees to carry over annual leave they would otherwise lose at the end of the year  
  8. Pause 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  
  9. Pause 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  
  10. Prohibit additional base realignments and closures. 
  11. Prevent expansion of so-called "commercial" treatment for weapon systems and component parts which will impede access to technical data needed by depots and shipyards and access to certified cost and pricing data to prevent overcharging of the government. So-called "commercial" treatment means the contractor doesn’t give the government cost or pricing data and also doesn't provide the technical data for repair or overhaul purposes. 

To read the entire letter, click here

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