The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Tim Kauffman,

Nation's Largest Federal Employee Union Applauds House Passage of Pro-Worker Defense Policy Bill

AFGE priorities included in bill include restoring one-year probationary period for new DoD workers, preventing arbitrary outsourcing of civilian jobs.


The American Federation of Government Employees is applauding House passage of a compromise version of the fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act and calls on the Senate to swiftly approve this must-pass bill.

"This bill contains many of our top legislative priorities, including restoring the one-year probationary period for new hires in the Department of Defense and preventing the arbitrary outsourcing of civilian jobs to private contractors," AFGE National President Everett Kelley said. "These measures will directly improve workers' pay and job security and signify the critical role of civilian employees in serving our troops and maintaining our national defense."

The key pro-worker provisions included in the NDAA will:

* Restore the one-year probationary period for new employees in the Department of Defense beginning in 2023, ensuring they are treated the same as most other federal workers.

* Clarify and strengthen previously approved language that prohibits the use of arbitrary personnel caps when determining the number of employees needed to carry out mission requirements, which can increase costs and impair readiness as work is shifted to contractors or military.

* Require senior officials to complete and certify a checklist ensuring that statements of work and task orders submitted to contracting officers comply with longstanding statutes that prevent replacing DoD civilian employees with contractors, subject to annual DoD Inspector General reviews, and require that service contract budgets comply with these requirements.

* Revive reporting requirements on situations in which military members are pulled from training assignments or operational units to replace civilian employees, which is known as borrowed military manpower, and ensure its adverse effects on readiness reports to Congress are captured.

* Allow federal firefighters to trade shifts across multiple pay periods without decreasing their regular pay or triggering overtime pay requirements, ensuring that firehouses maintain staffing requirements and can keep communities safe while enabling firefighters to meet personal obligations without having to use annual leave.

* Freeze the number of Air National Guard dual status military technicians at fiscal 2021 levels, rather than cutting the number as proposed by the administration, and reiterate previously approved language that prevents the involuntary conversion of dual status military technicians to Active Guard Reserve status.

* Provide all federal employees with two weeks of paid parental bereavement leave.

* Ensure that D.C. National Guard members who are federal civilian employees are entitled to leave without loss in pay or time from their civilian employment during mobilizations.

* Provide overtime pay for Navy employees working on vessels outside the continental U.S.

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union proudly representing 700,000 federal and D.C. government workers nationwide and overseas. Workers in virtually all functions of government at every federal agency depend upon AFGE for legal representation, legislative advocacy, technical expertise and informational services.

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