DHS Personnel System Derailed, Thanks to AFGE Push to Cut Funding
(WASHINGTON)— The American Federation of Government Employees today applauded a Department of Homeland Security decision to put an end to its misguided MaxHR personnel system. In a memo dated Oct. 1, DHS said it was rescinding the personnel system because of a provision passed by Congress and signed into law this week to cut funding for the plan. AFGE vigorously lobbied Congress to cut funding for Max HR.
In the memo, Chief Human Capital Officer Thomas Cairns said the provision in the Consolidated Assistance and Disaster Assistance and Appropriations Act signed into law Tuesday prohibits “expenditure of funds in operating the Department of Homeland Security Human Resources Management System for certain employees.”
“This truly is a win not just for our members, but for the public who had been saddled with paying for this costly personnel experiment,” said AFGE National President John Gage. “MaxHR was the first big effort to dismantle the civil service, unions and the GS pay system. This victory ensures that our country still will have a merit-based civil service system that works for federal employees and for the public they serve.”
The repeal of MaxHR applies to all unrepresented employees, managers and supervisors who were placed under the system, as well as any AFGE represented employees who would have been impacted in the future.
As the nation’s largest union representing federal employees AFGE led the fight to put a halt to MaxHR. In addition to lobbying Congress, AFGE and four other unions challenged the personnel system on the basis that it was unconstitutional, among other issues. In August 2005, the U.S. District Court issued an injunction forbidding DHS to implement the labor-relations portion of MaxHR. The Circuit Court of Appeals sustained that injunction, and in September, DHS said it would not appeal that decision.
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.