WASHINGTON - The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), along with its Department of Defense (DoD) union coalition partners, today filed an opposition brief in response to DoD’s decision to appeal the court ruling that struck down significant provisions of its controversial National Security Personnel System (NSPS).
In February, U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan’s ruling gutted several NSPS provisions pertaining to labor relations, collective bargaining, independent third party review and adverse actions. Consequently, Judge Sullivan’s decision on AFGE v. Rumsfeld—05-2183 (D.D.C. February 27, 2006)—effectively declared illegal major portions of NSPS.
In the brief, AFGE asks that the District Court affirm the February decision and to rely on the precedent set by the ruling of U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary M. Collyer that blocked implementation of similar proposals from the Department of Homeland Security. In that decision, the courts ruled that the proposed DHS MaxHR system failed to either ensure collective bargaining in labor relations or fair treatment for appeals. Today AFGE learned that DHS has decided not to appeal Judge Collyer’s decision to the Supreme Court.
“The District Court has made it clear that DoD overreached and outright defied the guidelines set by Congress when it designed NSPS,” said AFGE National President John Gage. “We are asking the District Court to dismiss the DoD appeal and once again affirm what we already know to be true: NSPS is unfair and will cause irreparable harm to DoD employees if allowed to move forward in its current form.”
AFGE has consistently maintained that NSPS and similar personnel rules stand to devastate the federal workforce by gutting worker pay, eliminating collective bargaining rights, rending whistleblower protections moot and wasting millions of taxpayer dollars.
AFGE jointly filed the brief with a coalition of unions representing civilian defense workers, the United DoD Workers Coalition. AFGE and UDWC started their fight to protect the rights and pay of civilian DoD employees by filing a lawsuit in February 2005 challenging the legality of the NSPS regulations.
“If judges have gutted similar personnel regulations from DHS,” said Gage, “what makes DoD think they can get away with going forward with these illegal NSPS rules? The regulations that DoD is trying to implement violate the law and DoD needs to accept that and start over.”Click here to see the DoD briefing