Conferees Restore Defense Workers' Rights Under New Personnel Plan

Monday, December 10, 2007


Contact: Randy Erwin, NFFE Legislative Director

Phone: (202) 257-0948

Washington, DC – On Friday, December 7th, House and Senate conferees revealed details of the Fiscal Year 2008 Defense Authorization Conference Report (HR 1585) which included language to fundamentally alter the National Security Personnel System (NSPS), a controversial personnel reform at the Department of Defense (DoD).

The language included in the conference report would restore collective bargaining rights and adverse action appeal rights for hundreds of thousands of Defense workers.  The language also removes blue collar workers from the system entirely.

“Collective bargaining and a fair system of employee appeals are basic rights that all workers deserve. We are happy to see Congress step in and do the right thing regarding workers’ rights,” said Richard N. Brown, NFFE National President.

The language in the conference report would leave in place DoD’s ability to create a pay for performance system.  However, the measure would guarantee that NSPS employees get 60 percent of the annual pay raise given to most federal workers.  Only the remaining 40 percent of the pay adjustment, which is set annually by Congress, would go toward performance pay.  Defense workers will also continue to receive locality pay when performing at a satisfactory level and above.

“We believe these changes greatly improve the personnel system over its previous form,” said Brown.  “The plan that DoD came up with was never going to fly with the rank and file Defense employees, and the plan would never be a success without buy in from those participating in it.  NSPS is still far from perfect in our opinion, but at least some common sense has been restored.”

The House and Senate will likely vote on the bill this week and send it to the president for his signature.


Established in 1917, the National Federation of Federal Employees is the oldest union representing civil service federal employees.  NFFE currently represents 90,000 federal employees government-wide, including 45,000 in the Department of Defense.  NFFE is affiliated with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

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