Washington—The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) today said it will closely watch Sunday’s limited implementation of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) National Security Personnel System (NSPS). Despite the April 30 conversion of some federal employees to NSPS, AFGE scored a major victory in February when a federal judge barred full execution of the system after declaring that major provisions were illegal.
In February, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan issued a ruling gutting NSPS provisions pertaining to labor relations, collective bargaining, independent third party review, adverse actions and DoD’s proposed internal labor relations panel, the National Security Labor Relations Board.
Consequently, DoD could only implement the performance management, compensation and classification, staffing and workforce shaping provisions of the system’s human resources component for 11,000 Spiral 1.1, non-bargaining unit employees.
“We were pleased with the judge’s February ruling because it basically eviscerated the core of NSPS and in the short term saved hundreds of thousands of DoD employees from a system that would have gutted worker pay, eliminated collective bargaining rights, rendered whistleblower protections moot and wasted millions of taxpayer dollars,” said AFGE National President John Gage. “DoD is trying to implement a shell of their original version of NSPS. It is our hope that more litigation will keep NSPS from spreading any further.”
AFGE warns DoD employees not to be fooled by the one-time pay bump for newly converted employees.
“What DoD doesn’t tell these employees is that unlike the GS system that NSPS is trying to replace, these payments may be the last pay increases they will ever see thanks to this new system,” said Gage. “It smacks of bribery, and if you have an honest and fair pay system, you shouldn’t have to bribe anyone.”
DoD planned to implement NSPS in the spring of 2005, but legal challenges from AFGE and other unions forced several delays, culminating in Judge Sullivan’s February ruling. This week AFGE plans to appeal parts of the judge’s decision that it did not agree with. DoD has already filed an appeal of Judge Sullivan’s original ruling. A hearing is expected this fall.
If fully implemented, NSPS would affect more than 700,000 DoD employees.