Unions Win NSPS Lawsuit; Decision Upholds Collective Bargaining at DoD

Monday, February 27, 2006

Contact:  Randy Erwin   (202) 216-4451 (office)   (202) 898-1866 (fax)  


Washington, DC — Today, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia released his ruling on the National Security Personnel System (NSPS) lawsuit filed by 10 labor unions on November 7, 2005.  The judge ruled in favor of the unions on several key components of the suit, including the decision to maintain collective bargaining rights for 750,000 workers at the Department of Defense (DoD).

The court found that the new rules fail to ensure even minimal collective bargaining rights. Specifically, the court determined that DoD regulations failed to ensure collective bargaining by allowing the agency to take whatever actions are necessary to carry out the mission, create issuances to override labor agreements, and limit procedures and appropriate arrangements bargaining. 

"This is an absolute victory," said Richard N. Brown, National President of the National Federation of Federal Employees.  "We have said from the beginning that DoD had no right to eliminate collective bargaining rights, and Judge Sullivan's decision shows we were correct in that assertion."

The court further rejected the National Security Labor Relations Board on grounds that the board did not satisfy Congress' requirement for an independent third party to review labor management disputes.

The court called the appeals process under NSPS "the antithesis of fairness."

"This decision is vital to ensuring a fair a personnel system for DoD workers," said Brown.

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