[ Triad Online Home ]                                                                                       October 28, 2005

Information briefings held regarding new National Security Personnel System

By Rob Schuette, Triad Staff

      Town Hall informational briefings about the new National Security Personnel System (NSPS) were held Oct. 12-13 at Fort McCoy as the installation prepares to transition to the system along with the rest of the Department of the Army.

Photo: Larris Marks, the U.S. Army Forces Command, G-1 Human Services director, briefs McCoy employees about the NSPS. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
Larris Marks, the U.S. Army Forces Command, G-1 Human Services director, briefs McCoy employees about the NSPS. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

      Sally Dana, Labor Relations specialist for the Reserve Command Civilian Personnel and Advisory Center (CPAC) at Fort McCoy, said the system is expected to come online incrementally at Fort McCoy in the near future.

      The first organization at Fort McCoy to be affected by the new system will be the CPAC. The regulation still needs to be published before the system becomes operational.

      "These sessions were (held at Fort McCoy as) a head's-up about what's down the road and how this system will affect you," Dana said.

      Larris Marks, the U.S. Army Forces Command G-1, Human Resources director, presented briefings at Fort McCoy, one of 12 locations where she will be making presentations.  Personnel representing Army Major Commands currently are visiting all of the Army installations to present briefings about the new system. The system will be implemented Department of Defense (DoD)-wide.

      Several review points have been built into the system's implementation process to allow adjustments to be made as federal personnel gain experience with the new system, she said. 

      "The implementation of NSPS will be on an events-driven basis not on a time-driven basis," Marks said. "We want people to be informed about NSPS, be supportive of the system, be open to the basic principles and be flexible to NSPS."

      Although a great deal of misinformation is being generated, Marks wanted to set the record straight.  "No one will lose money when they are converted from the existing civil service system to NSPS" she said.

      As a related initiative, some jobs currently being performed by military personnel that could be performed by civilian personnel are being transitioned to the civilian personnel system. This will allow the Soldiers to concentrate on their war-fighting missions, she said.

      Employees will earn pay raises in the NSPS by meeting or exceeding accepted performance standards. Personnel who don't meet minimum standards could receive pay decreases.  Because there won't be enough time in the new system to earn a merit raise by 2006, all DoD personnel will receive the annual government pay increase in January 2006, she said.

      More details about NSPS will be released as they become available, Dana said. Currently, the system is scheduled to be completely operational by 2008. Among the highlights of the new system are allowing more recruitment flexibility and tying pay raises to performance. Dana said some of the details of the new system are considered bargainable, the subject of labor-management meet-and-confer sessions with the national union leaders.

      The system will give more flexibility to managers and set up guidelines for such things as reduction-in-force actions or direct hiring authority while maintaining veterans preference rights.  Marks said the new system will give the DoD more broad-sweeping authority to allow commanders to react more quickly to changes in their mission.

      Marks recommended government employees prepare now for the implementation of the system. One step to take is to be proactive.

More information about the new system can be found at the Web site  http://www.cpms.osd.mil/nsps,  she said.

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