WASHINGTON – American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. today issued the following statement:
“Today the House passed its version of the National Defense Authorization Act for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. This bill recognizes the critical contributions that federal civilian employees make to our country every day, both at the Department of Defense and across the government.
“The House bill would provide all federal employees with 12 weeks of paid family leave to care for a newly arrived child, medical emergencies, or separations due to military service. It prevents the administration from dismantling the Office of Personnel Management and splitting its functions between the General Services Administration and the Office of Management and Budget. It also provides members of the military with a 3.1% pay raise in January, matching the raise the House previously approved for federal employees and continuing the long tradition of providing equal raises to military and civilian workers.
“Other provisions supported by AFGE would repeal caps on the size of the DoD workforce and establish a framework for preventing reductions and growing the DoD workforce through a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) study; repeal unwarranted extensions of probationary periods; direct audits of the misuse of term or temporary hiring authorities to circumvent whistleblower protections and probationary periods; place further restrictions on converting federal civilian employee jobs to the military and direct an audit of borrowed military manpower; consolidate hiring authorities within existing limits and require a FFRDC study to evaluate steps to improve the competitive hiring process and diversity of the workforce; strengthen federal antidiscrimination laws; prevent any merger of Commissaries and Exchanges pending a review by the Government Accountability Office; and prohibit dual-status military technicians from being involuntarily converted to active, guard, or reserve status at higher cost to taxpayers.
“The Senate version of the NDAA passed on June 27. We look forward to working with members of the House and Senate conference committees to ensure the final legislation continues to support our invaluable and irreplaceable federal employees at DoD and across government.”