NFFE Opposes Recommendation to Reconstruct NSPS

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Contact: Randy Erwin, Legislative Director
Phone: (202) 257-0948

Washington, D.C. Today, at the Pentagon, the Defense Business Board voted in favor of a recommendation to “reconstruct” the National Security Personnel System (NSPS).  The recommendation was made by a three-person task group, Chaired by Rudy de Leon, that has spent the last several weeks gathering information and conducting a review of the controversial personnel system.

“This was absolutely not the recommendation we wanted to get from the task group,” said William R. Dougan, National President of the National Federation of Federal Employees.  “We believe the best course of action is to abandon this failed personnel system once and for all, not try to restructure it.”

In his comments, Chairman de Leon made it clear that the task group did not disagree with the unions’ contentions that NSPS was being run poorly and would not work in its current form, citing major problems with the pay pool process and pay-banding.  The Chairman even clarified the meaning of the deliberately chosen word “reconstruction,” explaining that it meant the current system should be scrapped and built anew.  But the task group fell short of calling for NSPS to be eliminated for good.

“The thought of starting over on NSPS is comical,” said Dougan.  “If the recommendation is to scrap NSPS as it exists today, we should not bother creating a new NSPS in its place.  We should start with an entirely new concept altogether.  Since OPM Director Berry has indicated he wants to look at the creation of a new system for the federal government as a whole, it would only make sense to put our effort into working with OPM and other federal unions to create a system that would work for all federal agencies, including the Department of Defense.  There is no demonstrated need for a separate system for Defense. Defense workers have an extreme level of distrust for NSPS, and a repackaging of the failed system will not fly.”

NSPS in its current form, is more than six years in the making, and will likely cost billions of dollars to devise.  Creating an all-new NSPS would likely take as much time and money to construct, but at a time when deficits are soaring and the will to keep NSPS moving forward is running low.

“It will take several years and cost billions of dollars to construct a new version of NSPS,” said Dougan.  “I cannot believe anyone is willing to invest the kind of the time, money, or effort needed to keep NSPS going.”

“We do not disagree with everything the task group developed,” Dougan said. "We thought their process was fair, we thought their findings were good as well, but we strongly disagree with their recommendation to reconstruct NSPS.  NSPS needs to go.”

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