THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE TRUTH
As you all should , the second phase of the process to implement NSPS has ended with very little "good faith" on the part of DoD officials to try and even understand the issues raised by the Union Coalition, let alone, reach any kind of agreement. Yes, Brothers and Sisters, "meet and confer" ended as it began, DoD is intent on creating an "at will" workforce by implementing a personnel system that eliminates basic rights afforded to ALL other American workers, except for US! Their "pay for performance" system will be nothing more than a buddy system or even worse, workers will be forced to make each other look bad, with the hope of receiving an annual increase at their co-workers expense. All this, DoD officials claim, will make America safer and more secure. They also claim that this type of system (which closely resembles indentured servitude) will attract the brightest and most dedicated workers to DoD. Personally I have come to realize that not a single person on the DoD team has any idea or concept of actually doing ANY of the work of a DoD civilian employee that works away from a desk at the Pentagon. They don't understand the concept of teamwork or companionship; and they certainly regard any type of partnership between management and employees as non-productive and a waste of time. I have a feeling of compassion for most of the members of the DoD team because when you look deep and carefully into their eyes it is clear to see that they are carrying out orders from their superior being (Sec. of Def. Rumsfeld). After all, these people are Federal employees trying to support families just like us. Unlike all of us however, they lack the courage and the guts to speak out against a bad idea, a terrible philosophy and a system that will fracture the foundation of the DoD civilian workforce and render America much less safe and secure than we are right now.
To make themselves even more irritating, DoD officials announced the BRAC list. Yes, in the middle of a "War against Terrorism", these same officials claim America will be safer by closing many critical Defense installations. They plan to make the reductions under the guidelines of NSPS, which has not yet even been tested to see if it will work! How do we as a country, endure such drastic changes and still sleep peacefully at night? The answer to that question is quite simple; America will survive because of YOU. Despite the persistent, disdainful and arrogant attempt by DoD to force changes that blatantly oversteps the authority given to them by Congress, you have continued the battle to save the future of the American workforce. You have had the courage to speak the truth to members of your communities, the media and elected officials in Congress. You have educated the people that you so proudly represent as Union leaders and as American Patriots. Your commitment has been invaluable in shedding light on the outrageous decisions being made by DoD officials. (The truth is that NSPS and BRAC is being driven by a political appointee Sec. Donald Rumsfeld, whose power has been uncontrollable.) Despite receiving daily reports that often were filled with "doom and gloom" details of an ongoing phony process, you NEVER stop fighting. You have continued to engage in a battle and your efforts have gained much, much attention. The weapons you are using cannot be stopped by DoD because NOTHING can defeat the truth. When people realize and understand the truth, they begin to question what the so-called experts are trying to do. WE MUST ALL CONTINUE TO SPEAK THE TRUTH! The fight is still very far from being over and together we can still be the victors in this war we are battling to protect the rights of all American workers. We must continue to prove to the media, Congress and the public that we are NOT the enemy. We must keep on dispelling the rhetoric from DoD insinuating that the Unions are refusing to accept any change. The insulting reports being given to members of Congress by DoD stating that the Unions are insisting on status quo. THE TRUTH IS THAT WE HAVE PROPOSED DRASTIC CHANGES THAT WILL PROTECT DOD CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES AND KEEP AMERICA SAFE!
The next battle is extremely critical and may very well be our final attempt to stop the implementation of NSPS and also delay the proposed BRAC. These two issues or let's say challenges facing DoD employees are directly related and we need to educate the same people we have been speaking to about this relationship. Not only does BRAC seem like a decision that we believe will harm our national security, it will also wreak unnecessary havoc in many communities. Unlike previous BRACs, people effected this time will have far fewer opportunities to keep their jobs. The proposed RIF changes in NSPS will leave many employees without a job and with much less opportunity to be offered a job within DoD or even other agencies within the Federal Government. Employees facing the possibility of losing their jobs because of BRAC will not even be able to appeal performance appraisals that they feel are unjust with the hopes of getting them changed. Their appeal rights will be nothing more than an obligatory process aimed at appeasing Congressional questions than a process that will allow employees a fair chance to change an inappropriate appraisal. These appraisals, under the new NSPS will effect every aspect of employees rights from annual pay increases to where an employee stands in a RIF. YES, BRAC AND NSPS ARE LINKED TOGETHER.
Our strategy is simple. We must keep doing all things that you have been doing for the past several months because you are making people listen. We cannot stop delivery of our message. Within the next few days you will be receiving a summary of what the Union Coalition proposed to DoD during meet and confer. You must use this to educate those people you have been nurturing relationships with. Show them the TRUTH. You must continue to make visits to your members of Congress. The visits you have been making have been extremely successful. Members of Congress are listening and they must continue to be educated on the TRUTH. Those affected by BRAC should attend hearings being held by the commission when they come to your communities. There are talking points specific to BRAC on the web site, please use them. Most importantly, we must continue holding events aimed at educating our bargaining units and informing our communities. Please continue holding town hall meetings, we have money available that if you request it, can be used to advertise these types of events.
July 12, there will be a National Rally in Washington DC. It is essential that any/all locals that are capable of sending people do so. This will actually be a two day event. Tuesday July 12 will be the Rally Day. This will be a UDWC (Union Coalition) Rally. We expect that the majority of the members of the coalition will be sending employees to this Rally. Further info will be coming during the next few days. But PLEASE remember the date, JULY 12, and make then necessary arrangements within your locals to attend. This rally must be BIG. We must show the public, the media and Congress that we are prepared and ready to fight for what is right. The next day July 13 will be used as a Congressional Lobby Day where we will make sure that members of Congress fully understand our position and the reasons why we held a protest rally the day before. We must get Congress to delay implementation of NSPS until they hold hearings and hold DOD officials accountable for over stepping the law which Congress passed. This could be our last fight and our last chance to stop NSPS and BRAC before they become final. Let's stick together, for together we have a powerful voice. Together we will be able to show America the TRUTH and together we will ensure that America remains SAFE.
Always in Solidarity,
DEFCON President (or chairperson)