(WASHINGTON) – The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) , the nation’s largest federal employees union, today expressed concern over Pentagon plans to conduct a three-month review of the National Security Personnel System.
In keeping with President Obama’s promise to review NSPS, the Pentagon today announced its appointees to the review panel. Recommendations by the panel are due to the Pentagon and the Office of Personnel Management by the end of this summer, but that’s too much time and too many tax dollars to devote to reviewing a system that the union and members of Congress already know does not work, says AFGE.
While most of the 200,000 civilian defense employees the union represents are immune to participation in the system, thanks to congressional action last year, AFGE National President John Gage feels that NSPS is eating away at the excellence of the DOD employees forced to work under it.
“A steady stream of DOD managers and supervisors have told us that NSPS is unfair, dishonest and ineffective,” Gage said. “Further, we know that those under the system suffer from low morale and lower productivity.
“Congress already has put several nails into the coffin of NSPS. We had hoped the Obama administration would make quick work of restoring the civil service system and putting an end to this costly albatross,” Gage added.
“NSPS was the brainchild of the right wing neocons at the Heritage Foundation. It was advanced into law as a result of some very misleading proposals submitted by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, which were designed to end employee civil service rights and their right to collective bargaining,” Gage said. “Congress sent a clear message expressing its negative sentiments about the process in 2008, effectively restoring many rights and obtaining DOD’s agreement to keep bargaining unit members out of NSPS. This system has cost millions of dollars. It does not make sense to reinvent the wheel. The people and the resources needed to support our armed services are too valuable.”
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 700,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.