AFGE NSPS E-NEWS
20 APRIL 2005
The United Defense Workers Coalitions response to Comments and Recommendations:
The United Defense Workers Coalition
Any comments found here have not changed the Federal Register, but should be a guide to understanding and defining the author's intent as described to the UDWC.
To answer field comments: Talks appeared slow at start for the first three days. There is a FMCS Facilitator available at all times to move through the Federal Register and the procedures as agreed to the parties.
Opening speech by UDWC's MTD member Ron Ault was well received, topics that were touched on concerning basic rights being stripped away, Patriotism by Government Employees, importance for labor endorsement to NSPS and then Brother Ault concluded with the basic theme heard in a majority of the public comments.
NSPS and OPM have elected to start the day by going through the UDWC's 137 page Comments and Recommendation submittal. This is comprised of the public comments made during the comment period. This Q & A is going to be done by the subject matter experts and writers. The UDWC has reserved their right until after this is done for follow up questions.
Notable daily comments: Annual January increase replaced by Local Market Supplements will not replace non foreign area cost of living allowance (COLA), Steps, QSI and the general pay increase are gone, 9901-342 indication are they are still looking at the proper way to handle returning Service Members back to their Federal Jobs with out loss of pay. EPI as addressed in 9901.344 will remain as basic pay. Local Market Supplements may be applied to specific to occupations within pay bands at a location. Clusters means career groups as written in 9901.353.
Subpart C Structure
UDWC started out targeting subjective language that can be abused by management. Comments made to change 9901.322 (may to shall) and drop (and other relevant factors). AFGE Terry Rosen spoke on 9901.323 objecting to no raise for unacceptable performance without some kind of employee process appeal or recourse against personality conflicts with management, the adjudication process is inadequate for reconsideration process on rating.
OPM has made it clear that they want 9901.343 as a "tool in the tool box".
OPM made it clear that a majority of the proposed regulations will be explained in the formal briefing to come sometime in the future. 9901.373 is designed for initial conversions, it does not address DoD agencies once in NSPS to be moved to other areas within DoD.
Subpart F workforce Shaping
Much discussion was held regarding RIF and veteran's preference, retention standing, targeted groups. The union discussed many actual scenarios and the possible problems with the changes proposed. OPM and DoD totally disagreed. Moving onto the 9901.607, UDWC made it clear that Veteran's Preference should not be messed with. The past history has shown that if the system is not broken why mess with it. There were examples given by UDWC how 9901.607 would violate Veterans preference. NSPS will be brought back to the front of discussion later on during meet and confer.
DoD's intention to tailor RIF competitive areas to additional factors, such as, product line, funding line, etc: will make existing Veteran's Preference Law meaningless.