Senate Approves Defense Bill Repealing NSPS; Bill Advances to Obama’s Desk
Yesterday, the Senate approved the final version of the 2010 Defense Authorization Act, advancing the key legislation to the White House for President Obama’s approval. Passed by a margin of 68-29, the annual appropriations measure carries with it a series of crucial federal employee priorities that are sure to have a profound impact on the workforce in the coming years.
The bill, passed just over two weeks ago in the House, includes provisions to repeal the National Security Personnel System (NSPS) once and for all, bringing to a close the over six-year battle NFFE has waged against the flawed system. The legislation calls for more than 200,000 Defense workers enrolled under NSPS to be returned to existing wage systems by January 1, 2012, effective six months after the bill’s signing. It also guarantees that those workers currently enrolled will receive the full GS pay adjustments during their transition back into existing pay systems.
“NSPS has been a six-year battle for our survival,” said NFFE Legislative Director Randy Erwin, recalling the long and often fruitless struggle against the anti-union, anti-worker personnel system. “We are very grateful to all the lawmakers who recognized what a truly bad idea NSPS was, and took action to repeal it.”
Also included in the Defense Bill are provisions offering employees enrolled in the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) credit for their unused sick leave upon retirement, and extending locality pay to workers stationed outside of the mainland United States – both critical NFFE priorities.
“After years of being shut out of the process, we are finally beginning to bear the fruit of our efforts,” said Erwin.
President Obama is expected to sign the Defense Bill into law in the coming days.