May 01, 2006
Kurt Gallagher
(202) 639-6491

Defense Workers Unions Seek to Broaden Ruling Against Proposed DoD Personnel System

WASHINGTON—The American Federation of Government Employees today filed an appeal with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to broaden a recent victory against proposed personnel rules for the Department of Defense. AFGE, as part of a coalition of unions called the United DoD Workers Coalition, won a major victory against DoD’s National Security Personnel System (NSPS) on Feb. 27 when U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ruled major portions of the personnel rules to be illegal.

Judge Sullivan’s ruling effectively gutted the labor relations and employee appeal provisions of NSPS, prompting DoD to appeal the decision. AFGE’s action is a counter appeal to DoD’s appeal.

“Judge Sullivan issued a fair decision affirming the basic labor law principle that a union contract binds all parties to it. This principle is essential for labor contracts to be enforceable. However there are provisions of NSPS that are allowed to stand under the decision. DoD’s appeal provides an opportunity for a judicial reconsideration of those remaining provisions,” said AFGE Assistant General Counsel Joe Goldberg.

AFGE will challenge a provision of NSPS limiting the issues subject to contract negotiations. AFGE also will argue that DoD did not engage unions in a meaningful consultative process to develop NSPS.

“There were lots of meetings, but the unions received virtually no feedback fom DoD representatives at any of them,” said Goldberg. “Those meetings don’t qualify as a consultative process because DoD representatives refused to engage union representatives in any sort of exchange of ideas or meaningful discussion of proposals.”

AFGE is the largest federal employee union representing 600,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.

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