(WASHINGTON) – The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), which represents more than 200,000 Department of Defense (DoD) civilian employees, today lauded House members for their overwhelming bipartisan support of a bill that blocks funding of the National Security Personnel System (NSPS) for civilian defense workers.
U.S Reps. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) introduced an amendment to the FY08 Defense Appropriations bill blocking funding for the DoD’s proposed personnel system, which essentially guts civilian employee rights.
“In May, the House overwhelmingly rejected NSPS as costly and misguided by including in its 2008 Defense Authorization Bill language striking down major portions of the system,” said John Gage, national president of AFGE. “The House said it then, and now is saying again that NSPS must be stopped.”
The Government Accountability Office recently released a report detailing the exceedingly high cost of implementing the system. It also expressed serious doubts as to whether DoD could implement NSPS at its estimated cost. (http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d07851.pdf)
In February 2006, AFGE and its partners in the United Defense Workers Coalition won a decisive ruling in the 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 ruling was overturned this May in a sharply divided 2-1 decision by the U.S Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
“AFGE has dedicated itself to protecting DoD employees from being subject to unfair working conditions,” Gage said. “We are confident in today’s action. We have no doubt that in the end, DoD employees will be treated fairly and in a just manner.”