Unions critical of NSPS overhaul decision

Employee advocates say system is a failure, should be abandoned

Federal employee unions sharply criticized the recommendation of the Defense Business Board (DBB) to overhaul, and not abandon, Defense Department’s controversial National Security Personnel System (NSPS). In a final report released Aug. 25, the DOD federal advisory committee recommended “reconstruction” for NSPS, which would include a total restructuring of the DOD pay-for-performance system and a name change.

DBB said it did not call for abolition of the system because “the performance management system that has been created is achieving alignment of employee goals with organizational goals.” The report also said the reconstruction “should include a true engagement of the workforce in designing needed changes and implementation.”

Getting employee buy-in to overhaul the system — which federal labor unions have criticized as unfair, not transparent and inequitable — is not going to be easy, according to labor leaders.

“NSPS has been a complete and utter failure,” said William R. Dougan, president of the National Federation of Federal Employees. “The recommendation to keep NSPS going in light of the program’s failed history is baffling. NSPS should be discarded once and for all.”

Also reacting to the report, American Federation of Government Employees President John Gage reiterated his union’s contention that NSPS was created by the previous administration as a way to curb the workplace rights of DOD civilian employees, including the right to collective bargaining.

“A steady stream of DOD managers and supervisors have told us that NSPS is unfair, dishonest and ineffective,” Gage said. “We know that those under the system suffer from low morale and lower productivity.”

About 205,000 of 865,000 DOD civilian employees are in NSPS.

For more information, visit: http://www.nffe.org/ht/display/ReleaseDetails/i/13898 or www.afge.org/index.cfm?page=PressReleases&PressReleaseID=1039.

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