(Washington)-The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) today issued a vote of “no confidence” against Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
The vote by AFGE’s Defense Conference (DEFCON) followed a decision by the Department of Defense (DoD) to appeal a federal judge’s ruling against Rumsfeld and the department over its new personnel regulations, known as the National Security Personnel System. On Feb. 27, Federal Judge Emmet G. Sullivan prohibited DoD from implementing NSPS, saying it eviscerated collective bargaining rights, failed to provide employees with a fair way to appeal disciplinary actions, and did not provide for an independent third-party review of labor relations rulings.
DEFCON is a coalition of AFGE local union offices representing DoD employees.
The resolution, also supported by the AFL-CIO and the United DoD Workers Coalition, said that Rumsfeld promised Congress and DoD employees that the department, in creating a new personnel system, would respect collective bargaining requirements and create safeguards to assure due process and to prevent favoritism in the workplace.
“Secretary Rumsfeld has proven that what he says and what he does are very different,” the resolution said. “In misleading Congress and his employees, pushing an agenda that attacks fairness in the workplace, taking away the employees’ voice over important workplace conditions and putting forth a pay system that will undermine the future of living for most DoD employees, Secretary Rumsfeld has broken the bonds of trust with the employees.”
The NSPS, designed to eventually cover more than 700,000 civilian DoD employees, would replace the General Schedule pay system with one in which pay raises would be tied to annual performance evaluations.