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March 7, 2005

This is a Council 222 E:Alert. Your immediate action is requested.

The Department of Defense has issued its proposed regulations to establish a new personnel system at DoD. The Office of Personnel Management has already advised Congress that, in the interest of uniformity, it will propose the expansion of the DoD personnel system to all agencies.

Thus, as a HUD employee, you have a direct interest in what DoD is proposing. During the comment period - which is going on now - you have the right to express your concerns to DoD.

To review sample comments and send your own, you can go to

What do the new regulations do?

They decrease employees' standard of living.

Under the General Schedule, employee pay was clear. It was funded by Congress. However, the new regulations will take away this certainty. Salaries and bonuses will be funded by DoD. In the past - as recently as just last year - DoD did not fund its awards program, and HUD funded only half of its award program for bargaining unit employees. Given the agencies' miserable record on this issue, how can we feel confident that our salaries and bonuses will be funded in the future? In the Federal Aviation Administration, many employees have not had a pay increase in two years. While our pay increased by more than 7% in the last two years, they got no increase.

DoD establishes a new, less accountable, "pay for performance" system. Like HUD's current system, DoD already had a "pay for performance" system: Outstanding and Highly Successful employees receive performance bonuses (when they're funded), the regular pay raise, and step increases if due; Fully Successful employees receive only the regular pay raise and step increases if due; Marginally Successful employees receive only half of the regular pay raise and no step increases if due; and Unsatisfactory employees should be in the process of removal.

Under the new "pay for performance" system all of your pay - bonuses, step increases and annual raises - will be dependent on the judgment of your supervisor. Furthermore, the managers above your supervisor can change ratings if they wish. Currently, HUD employees fear that the "roll-up" process used at HUD is unfair and results in reduced and delayed ratings. Imagine a system where your annual pay raise and step increases are also part of this same process.

Except that it's worse. DoD is proposing that employees only be allowed to seek a review of thei rating through an internal process without recourse to a neutral third party arbitrator. And although you can challenge your performance rating internally, there is no process for challenging the pay determination! None! Ever!!

There is no guarantee that even the best workers will receive an annual pay raise or that the pay offered will be fair or competitive. This system will create a situation in which workers are in conflict with one another and afraid to speak out about harassment, violations of the law, and workplace safety problems. If there is a problem, you won't be given a fair appeal process to challenge the performance and pay decisions.

The proposed regulations change employees' work life.

The proposed DoD regulations will weaken unions and the rights gained through union contracts, such as flex days, advance notice of work schedules, and overtime rotations. If an employee is disciplined by a supervisor, there will be very little chance of overturning the punishment. The proposed regulations will allow managers to schedule employees to work without sufficient advance notice of schedule changes. This will make it extremely difficult for working parents to care for their children and family. It will also mean that abusive managers could harass employees with bad schedules or short notice. Overtime rotations can be canceled, which means that employees may not be able to plan adequately for childcare and other important responsibilities.

Defense Department employees could be assigned anywhere in the world, even into a war zone, with little or no notice. This will make it difficult for working parents who care for a family and have personal obligations at home. Is it too much to ask that DoD employees be guaranteed sufficient notice to plan for such assignments? Are all civilians going to become just like the military?

We can see our own future in these proposed regulations.

Fight for a better future! Start by making comments to the DoD regulations. Go to http://capwiz.com/afge/mail/oneclick_compose/?alertid=7019761

For more information on the proposed regulations, go to http://www.afge.org/Index.cfm?Page=DefenseConference

e:mail comments/suggestions to: AFGE Council 222/ADMIN/RIC/HUD