August 14, 2005
Enid Doggett
(202) 639-6419

AFGE, Other Unions Score Major Victory as Judge Rules to Block DHS Personnel System

(Washington)-In a major victory for Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees across the nation, DHS has been ordered to cease implementation of its personnel system. In January, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and four other unions filed suit challenging the proposed system on the basis that it violated the Bill of Rights, among other issues. In June, the unions filed a motion to stop the implementation of the rules and on July 15, Judge Rosemary M. Collyer suggested to DHS that it withhold implementation until Aug. 15.

“AFGE made every effort to design a fair and efficient personnel system in collaboration with DHS,” Gage added. “Unfortunately, our efforts and concerns virtually were ignored, which left us with no choice but to file suit.

“We certainly expect DHS to request a stay of the decision and file an appeal,” AFGE General Counsel Mark Roth said. “If the negotiating parties were going to make concessions, they would have done so before this case went to court.”

“This is a truly astronomical win, as the case most probably will set the precedent for the Department of Defense’s NSPS regulations and for the administration’s Make America Work program, which would extend the regulations to other government agencies,” AFGE National President John Gage said. “It also enforces what AFGE has been saying all along—the men and women who comprise the Department of Homeland Security; the men and women who risk their lives day-in and day-out, deserve the best representation, the best treatment, and the best rights.”

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