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Domestic Security | Legal | Policy - Personnel

DHS Personnel Policy Reforms Continue to Hit Legal Roadblocks

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As part of the US military’s organizational transformation, the Bush administration has pushed to create more flexibility within the Department of Defense’s personnel system with a streamlined appeals processes, more market-based compensation, merit pay, et. al. DID has covered the fight being waged by DoD employee unions against these proposals, and the legal difficulties encountered by similar proposed changes at the amalgamated Department of Homeland Security. has the latest update in that saga, which is widely seen as having some implications for DoD-related reforms as well. “To be sure, Congress made a judgment that it wanted DHS to have flexibility,” said Justice Rosemary Collyer, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. “But not at the expense of ensuring that employees could engage in collective bargaining.” Collyer’s ruling comes in response to a lawsuit brought by the National Treasury Employees Union, the American Federation of Government Employees and three other labor unions. The lawsuit addressed only the labor relations portion of DHS’ personnel reforms, and not any classification or compensation issues, such as pay-for-performance. Read the details, and find links to related articles, at

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