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Letter to the House and Senate regarding the National Security Personnel System

October 09, 2007

Dear Senator:


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 Congress to support inclusion of the House language reforming the National Security Personnel System (NSPS) in the FY08 Defense Authorization Conference Report.
 
Both the House (H.R. 1585) and Senate (S. 1548) versions of this legislation include language to reform NSPS. While we request that you support the House language in full, we also urge you to accept several provisions from the Senate bill. Specifically, we urge Congress to include in the final agreement:

  • House-passed NSPS reform language in its entirety;
  • Senate-passed language calling for complete repeal of NSPS for DoD's wage grade workers; and
  • House- and Senate-passed language calling for exemption of all DoD labs from NSPS.

The initial version of NSPS created by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is 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 DoD claimed that it would cost about $158 million to implement the NSPS. Now, more than four years later, a GAO report (GAO-07-851) has concluded that not only has DoD spent more than the projected $158 million, but worse yet, has no way of determining how much it has spent on NSPS! 

By including the above-mentioned language to eliminate the more harmful elements of NSPS in the 2008 DoD authorization bill, Congress now has the opportunity to reclaim the authority ignored by those pushing for implementation of this flawed system.
 
We thank you for your continued support of the working men and women at the Department of Defense, especially in DoDEA schools.

Sincerely,

Reg Weaver, President, National Education Association

Michael Priser, President, Federal Education Association