Labor unions tussle with NASA

The International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers has estimated that 20 percent of NASA's 18,000 civil servants would be affected by a change in management. The group says agency officials have consistently allocated 90 percent of NASA's budget to pay for contractors and only 10 percent for federal employees.

The agency is "a long way from actually doing it, but the devil's in the details," said Joseph Lopes, a legislative representative of the American Federation of Government Employees. "If this is a backdoor approach to suspending civil servant protections, then we will, very predictably and righteously, oppose it."

He added that "just because something calls itself a nonprofit or has a more benign characterization doesn't make us feel any better about losing civil servant protections and jobs."

Increasing privatization and use of Federally Funded Research and Development Centers "takes the responsibility for the space program off NASA's plate," said Matthew Biggs, the federation's legislative director. "If something goes wrong again, NASA isn't accountable."

Featured

  • Comment
    Diverse Workforce (Image: Shutterstock)

    Who cares if you wear a hoodie or a suit? It’s the mission that matters most

    Responding to Steve Kelman's recent blog post, Alan Thomas shares the inside story on 18F's evolution.

  • Cybersecurity
    enterprise security (Omelchenko/Shutterstock.com)

    Does Einstein need a post-SolarWinds makeover?

    A marquee program designed to protect the government against cybersecurity threats is facing new scrutiny in the wake of Solar Winds Orion breach, but analysts say the program was unlikely to have ever stopped the hacking campaign.

Stay Connected