April 07, 2003
Diane Witiak
John Irvine
(202) 639-6419

AFGE to Testify Before Congress

Read the Testimony

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)—AFGE National President Bobby L. Harnage will testify before a joint Congressional hearing on the current federal workplace environment and proposals to alter laws governing federal employment at 9:30 a.m. on April 8, in 342 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Harnage will focus his remarks on Bush Administration efforts to dismantle civil service protections in the Departments of Defense (DoD) and Homeland Security (DHS) and elsewhere, as well as enforcement of the Federal Employees Pay Comparability Act (FEPCA). Harnage will also provide four recommendations regarding the government’s human capital crisis:

“Federal employees will view these legislative proposals (S. 129 and H.R. 1601) from the vantage point of a workforce under siege. The Administration is pursuing an aggressive policy of mandatory privatization quotas aimed at up to 850,000 jobs. It has also tried to defy the tradition of civilian-military pay parity three times while reintroducing big bonuses for political appointees.

“It’s well known that DoD is shopping legislation that will allow it to waive parts of Title 5 and impose a pay for performance system on its workforce. They are eager to get these authorities before the outcome of the grand experiment at DHS is known. Federal employees recognize these efforts as hostile to their interests and understand that DoD’s pay for performance schemes will require substantial financial sacrifice for them and their families.

“AFGE offers four recommendations regarding the human capital crisis: 1) Require full funding and implementation of FEPCA’s comparability provisions as a trigger for the exercise of the expanded bonus authorities in the proposed legislation; 2) Enact legislation that would put an end to privatization quotas, that would guarantee federal employees the chance to compete in defense of their jobs, and that would prohibit OMB’s controversial rewrite of A-76 to go forward; 3) Pass legislation already introduced in the House and Senate to improve the funding formula for federal employee health insurance; and, 4) Resist the temptation to jump on the anti-employee pay for performance bandwagon, whether for DoD, DHS, or any other federal agency or department. Pay for performance is a recipe for mismanagement, discord, and discrimination and will undermine the merit system principles.”

Harnage’s testimony will be given before the joint hearing of U.S. Senate Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Government Management, the Federal Workforce and the District of Columbia, and the U.S. House Government Reform Subcommittee on Civil Service and Agency Organization.

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