February 25, 2008

DHS and the plan to gut civil service

Apparently, DHS has given up on that brill idea to gut civil service laws and hire non-union folks.

The Department of Homeland Security, in a court filing Friday, said it will not pursue rules to curb union rights and will abide by regular civil service labor-management procedures.

Shortly afterward, a federal court issued an order closing the case, and the union that fought the rules declared victory.

Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, yesterday called the result "a welcome end to a battle well worth fighting."

The battle began in the summer of 2002, when the Bush administration signaled that it wanted to create a separate personnel system for Homeland Security, changing how employees would be paid, promoted and disciplined.

Bush officials contended that the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks required changes that would give more discretion to managers and permit quicker deployment of workers without notifying their union representatives.

The plan outraged federal union leaders and a number of Democrats in Congress. When the department and the Office of Personnel Management issued rules for a new personnel system in February 2005, the NTEU and other employee groups sued. The union also began lobbying campaigns to stop the rules on Capitol Hill.

The proposed rules would have allowed the Department of Homeland Security to override any provision in a union contract by issuing a department-wide directive. The rules also would have made it difficult, if not impossible, for unions to negotiate over arrangements for staffing, deployments, technology and other workplace matters.

In August 2005, U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer blocked the department's plan, saying it did not ensure collective-bargaining rights for Homeland Security employees. A year later, a federal appeals court ruled against the department.

Just curious, but how much taxpayer money was wasted on advancing a stupid idea dreamed up by retarded Republicans on a purely ideological crusade?

Posted by mcblogger at February 25, 2008 11:20 AM

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