The following was emailed to CPEO earlier today and while it does not
specifically address military and environmental issues it has the
potential to affect civilian military employees who work in environmental
positions. The provision described below is part of the larger
Defense Transformation for the 21st Century Act submitted to Congress
just prior to the April recess.|
Panel Approves DoD Personnel System Plan, Rejects Pro-Federal Employee
May 9, 2003
The Republican-dominated House Government Reform Committee approved
legislation late Wednesday night that would create a completely new
civilian personnel system at the Department of Defense (DoD) by
eviscerating the current Federal civil service protections for DoD
employees contained in Title 5 of the United States Code.
The legislation (H.R. 1836), which was approved by a
party-line vote, would let DoD:
Waive chapter 53 of Title 5 and therefore eliminate the General
Schedule pay system, the annual congressionally-mandated pay increases,
and the within-grade step increases currently provided to DoD employees
who have performed at an acceptable level. Instead, H.R. 1836 would allow
DoD to put employees into a pay-banding system that allows supervisors to
decide whether and by how much individual employees' pay will be
Waive subchapter V of Chapter 55 which deals with premium pay.
H.R. 1836 therefore would allow DoD to not provide overtime pay,
compensatory time off, "night, standby, irregular, and hazardous
duty differential" pay, availability pay for criminal investigators,
pay for firefighters, Sunday and holiday work pay, etc.
Waive chapter 51 of Title 5 and therefore eliminate the current
position classification system that requires different pay levels for
different jobs be based on the standard of "equal pay for
substantially equal work." Instead, H.R. 1836 would allow DoD to
disregard that standard, resulting in jobs which are graded similarly now
being treated completely differently after the new personnel system is in
place. This is particularly important because the current standard goes a
long way toward preventing federal pay discrimination on the basis of
race, ethnicity, or gender.
Waive chapters 43, 75, and 77 of Title 5 and therefore eliminate
employees' right to due process and ability to appeal with regard to
disciplinary actions. Instead, H.R. 1836 would allow DoD to establish a
much weaker, less protective appeals process for employees.
Waive chapter 71 of Title 5 and therefore eliminate employees'
right to organize into unions and bargain collectively with management
over some employment conditions. Instead, H.R. 1836 would allow DoD to
eliminate collective bargaining rights for employees or create a
labor-management system tilted even more in favor of management.
At the same time, the Republican
majority in the House Government Reform Committee rejected various
AFGE-supported, pro-federal employee amendments. The House Government
party-line vote, rejected an amendment offered by Rep. Stephen Lynch
(D-MA) to restore the collective bargaining rights of chapter 71 of Title
party-line vote, rejected an amendment offered by Del. Eleanor Holmes
Norton (D-DC) to restore the due process and appeal rights of chapters
43, 75, and 77 of Title 5.
party-line vote, rejected an amendment offered by Rep. Chris Van
Hollen (D-MD) to ensure that DoD civilian employees continue to receive
the annual pay increase that is passed by Congress and which has been
linked to the military across-the-board pay increase for 18 of the last
By a voice vote, rejected an amendment offered by Rep. Jim Cooper
(D-TN) to apply the new civilian personnel system created by DoD to
managers and supervisors only. Since the Republican majority insisted on
moving a bill of this magnitude on such an expedited basis, it was only
prudent to restrict the application of these sweeping changes to managers
and supervisors. Doing so would allow DoD to begin to implement the
flexibilities it desires, but at the same time protect the
non-supervisory employees from these changes until there has been an
adequate evaluation of the success or failure of their application to
managers and supervisors.
Associate Director, CPEO
1101 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20036
tel: 202-452-8039; fax: 202-452-8095