Pentagon officials announced yesterday that they soon will begin implementing a controversial personnel system that they believe can withstand the kind of legal challenge that has hampered a similar plan at the Department of Homeland Security.
The National Security Personnel System, which eventually will cover 650,000 civilian employees, will replace the familiar 15-grade General Schedule pay system with one in which raises are linked to annual performance evaluations.
The new work rules also would curtail the power of labor unions and make it easier to hire, promote and discipline employees -- all in the name of making the Defense Department more nimble in the struggle against terrorism.
The early reviews are not so favorable. At least five federal employee unions, led by the American Federation of Government Employees, say they will file a lawsuit in federal court to challenge the labor relations portions of the new system.
The unions contend that the new work rules would gut collective bargaining in violation of federal law. And they maintain that the department did not live up to its obligation to consult with employees' representatives in developing a new labor management system.
I don't know the particulars, but based on what I've heard here (from numerous civilian friends at the local Naval Shipyard) and what I have read, I know this will go over like a lead balloon. The unions don't just hate it...they loathe it.