(WASHINGTON)—The American Federation of Government Employees today said it is disappointed but not surprised that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has decided to appeal a court’s ruling that the Department of Defense’s (DoD) proposed personnel system, known as the National Security Personnel System (NSPS), is seriously flawed and needs revision.
AFGE National President John Gage said in a statement today following the union’s receipt of the official notice of DoD’s appeal: “The judge’s decision was sound and clear on NSPS. We had hoped that DoD would come to its senses and not appeal the ruling, but we’re not surprised by Rumsfeld’s decision.”
AFGE on Feb. 27 won a decisive ruling in U.S. District Court against NSPS. Judge Emmet G. Sullivan’s ruling gutted 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.
The ruling on AFGE v. Rumsfeld—05-2183 (D.D.C. February 27, 2006)—effectively declared illegal major portions of NSPS.
AFGE jointly filed the lawsuit with a coalition of unions representing civilian defense workers, the United DoD Workers Coalition, in February 2005.
Recently, AFGE’s Defense Conference (DEFCON) took a “no confidence” vote against Defense Secretary Rumsfeld in response to his decision to appeal the judge’s ruling on NSPS. DEFCON said at that time that Rumsfeld, by his decision, had “broken the bonds of trust” with the department’s employees.