(WASHINGTON)—The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) today expressed outrage at the Department of Homeland Security’s intention to move forward with implementation of the adverse actions and appeals parts of its personnel system (formerly known as MaxHR, now as Human Capital Operational Plan or HCOP) to “all bargaining unit members.” DHS earlier this week gave AFGE notice of its intent. In response, AFGE National President John Gage issued the following statement:
“Following a lawsuit over portions of MaxHR by AFGE and other unions, these adverse actions and appeals regulations were found to undermine the fundamental principles of fairness and due process for DHS employees. In her ruling, Judge Rosemary Collyer said that ‘the Regulations put the thumbs of the Agencies down hard on the scales of justice in [the agency’s] favor.’ The Appeals Court found Collyer’s ruling premature because no live case existed and lifted the injunction. Nevertheless, the Appeals Court did not dispute Collyer’s basic conclusion regarding the lack of fairness.
“This is the height of hypocrisy. Only two weeks ago, DHS said it would abort MaxHR and instead go forward with its new Human Capital Operational Plan.’ In a Feb. 26 interview with the Washington Post, Perez said that the new plan ‘should be reassuring to employees.’ What part of implementing a court-ruled illegal plan is reassuring? DHS already has the lowest morale in the federal government, and this action will drive it lower. This is more than just a bad judgment call. It’s a critical mistake that will take its toll on DHS, its employees, and ultimately, the security of this nation.
“Once again, the top management at DHS has demonstrated its utter disdain for its employees. With all of the important security needs facing this country, Secretary Chertoff and others seem obsessively preoccupied with attacking their own employees and taking away fundamental employee rights.
“It is clearly wrong for DHS to spend money aimed at implementing regulations already found to be illegal by the U.S. District Court. There are much better uses for the money, including upgraded security at our borders.”