The Boston Consulting Group has submitted a report to the Department of Defense that calls for an arbitrary, across-the-board reduction in the compensation of Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) employees by converting them from traditional civil service status to non-appropriated fund status. Moreover, DoD would use this conversion to eliminate statutory protections against privatization that are currently enjoyed by DeCA’s workforce.
It’s no surprise that a corporate consultant would recommend that “labor savings” should be achieved by ripping off an already modestly-paid workforce. However, it is surprising that this recommendation would be taken seriously, particularly by an administration that claims to be dedicated to helping the middle class.
Slashing the pay and benefits of commissary workers is a misguided proposal to cut costs on the backs of the Pentagon’s own workers, many of whom are veterans or military spouses themselves.
This is nothing more than an agency-wide downgrade of the Defense Commissary Agency’s 15,500 civilian employees.
This downgrade would impose significant pay cuts, anywhere from 10% to 50% depending on job and location. In addition, employees would see their current health insurance, retirement, and workers’ compensation benefits disappear, only to be replaced by substandard offerings.
While the Pentagon can certainly save money by paying commissary workers less and providing them with inferior benefits, these savings will come at a steep cost to the working-class Americans who serve our military families at grocery stores around the world.
Urge your lawmakers to oppose any effort to converting Defense Commissary Agency employees from the traditional civil service status to non-appropriated fund status. This effort would force DeCA employees do the same work for much less money.