DHS delays new pay system

The Homeland Security Department told employees Wednesday that DHS will delay for at least a year the first phase of its plans to change the way it pays them.

The decision was disclosed by Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union. In a statement, the union said that DHS has dropped its fiscal 2006 budget request of $10 million in funding for implementation of the new pay system but is still seeking funds for its proposed labor relations program.

The latest move comes after a federal court decision struck down parts of the proposal because it violated collective bargaining rights.

“I’m pleased to see that DHS agrees that it is nowhere near ready to begin moving on this unwise proposal,” Kelley said. “As we said from the beginning, any personnel system, including a pay system, has to be fair, credible and transparent to have any chance to succeed. The system DHS is proposing is none of that.”

DHS had no immediate comment on the union statement. The new performance management system was supposed to go into effect no later than Oct. 1, and the new pay system that rewarded workers for performance, not seniority, originally was scheduled to be implemented in phases beginning in January 2006.

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