Thanks to the hard work of AFGE activists, civilian employees in the Department of Defense and across government are one step closer to ensuring their jobs can’t be outsourced for another year.
The House of Representatives on June 15 included a bipartisan measure in next year's Defense funding bill that bans unfair contracting-out studies under what is known as Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76. The Senate Appropriations Committee followed suit on June 16 by including a governmentwide ban in the FY17 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill.
“Some lawmakers have proposed lifting the ban, but most understand that the current privatization process fleeces taxpayers and results in shoddy services,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said.
The outsourcing ban was one of several AFGE-backed measures to be included in the Defense appropriations and authorization bills. These include:
Removing a commissary privatization pilot project from the Senate version of the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which could have hurt military families by privatizing the military grocery stores they rely on.
Rejecting an amendment to the House DoD appropriations bill to allow funds to be used for planning a new round of base closings under the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process.
Reversing huge per diem cuts to DoD employees who travel more than 30 days at a time, which will force employees to cover expenses related to official travel out of their own pockets. A provision was included in the House-passed FY17 NDAA that prohibited DoD from reducing per diem for long-term travel.
Increase employee buyouts from $25,000 to $40,000 to provide greater incentive for employees to retire or quit so agencies can avoid costly and disruptive reductions-in-force, which was included in the Senate-passed FY17 NDAA.
Reinstating a 180-day waiting period before military retirees can be rehired as DoD civilians, which will allow those jobs to be open to competition instead of being given automatically to retiring service members. This was also included in the Senate-passed FY17 NDAA.
Work now turns to the conference committee process, in which the House and Senate will reconcile their individual bills. AFGE will need to keep the pressure on lawmakers to retain provisions that were included in the bills and to support pro-worker provisions that were left out.