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Letter to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees regarding the National Security Personnel System Provisions in the Defense Authorization Bill

September 17, 2009

Dear Senators Levin and McCain/Representatives Skelton and McKeon:


On behalf of the 3.2 million members of the National Education Association, and especially the over 8,000 employees of the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) represented by the Federal Education Association, we urge your support for inclusion of House-passed language regarding the National Security Personnel System (NSPS) in the FY10 Defense Authorization bill.  

The initial version of NSPS was an affront to the men and women at DoD who work so hard to support our troops and safeguard our country every day.  In creating NSPS, the Pentagon ignored guidelines set forth by Congress and sought to create an arbitrary system in which workers were stripped of their collective bargaining rights and left with no real protection or recourse from cronyism and other abuses. 
 
The House language would:

  • Prohibit the DoD from putting new hires into the NSPS and prohibit any reclassification of positions to NSPS (as of June 16, 2009).  DoD has suspended conversion of current employees into NSPS but is continuing to place new employees into the system.
  • Require conversion of all NSPS employees back to the General Schedule within one year of enactment, unless the Secretary of Defense notifies Congress - 6 months prior - of any significant improvements to NSPS following a comprehensive.
  • Place similar restrictions on the Defense Civilian Intelligence Personnel System.
    In contrast, language in the Senate bill, while purporting to terminate the NSPS, would in fact implement a new system that would cause many of the same harmful impacts as NSPS. 

We urge you to accept the House-passed language to terminate the NSPS.  Thank you for your consideration of our views on  this matter.

Sincerely,

Diane Shust
Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody
Manager of Federal Advocacy