DoD Lawyers to Review Judge's Block of New Personnel System
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2006 Defense Department attorneys are reviewing a federal judge's decision today to block a new civilian personnel system to determine their next course of action, Joyce Frank, system spokesperson, said.
U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ruled today that provisions of the new National Security Personnel System would fail to protect civilian employees' ability to bargain collectively.
These provisions pertain to labor relations, collective bargaining, independent third-party review, adverse actions and the National Security Labor Relations Board, DoD's proposed internal labor relations panel, the 77-page decision noted.
The American Federation of Government Employees and 12 other labor unions filed a lawsuit in February 2005 challenging the proposed system.
NSPS is one of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's key initiatives designed to transform DoD operations to better meet 21st-century needs. It is designed to replace an outdated, 50-year-old civilian personnel management system that had rewarded employees for length of service rather than performance.
The new program, in development since 2003, seeks to replace the current general-schedule personnel ranking system with broad pay bands.
DoD and the Office of Personnel Management are partnering to establish the system, which eventually will affect more than 650,000 DoD civilian employees.