The National Federation of Federal Employees is taking a victory lap for changing a much-derided two-year probationary period for some new employees back to one year.
Federal employee unions and their affiliates are celebrating wins on key agenda items for feds in 2021 -- with one key group, the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE), taking a victory lap for reversing a much-derided two-year probationary period for some new employees, reverting it back to one year.
NFFE, which represents tens of thousands of employees in the Department of Defense, had consistently pushed for ending the Trump-era longer trial period. Now that aim has been codified into law in the defense bill passed this month.
The new National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) will have the effect of “undoing the excessive two-year period that was implemented in FY-16,” the union said in a statement.
NFFE and allied employee organizations pointed out they won some, and lost some this year, with respect to their full range of legislative aims for feds working in various agencies and capacities. Among the less-than-successful battles was for better pay for federal firefighters, among the hardest-working and least well-treated government workers.
“Unfortunately,” NFFE said, “the 2022 NDAA fell short of what [the union] had been aggressively lobbying for, and many aspects that would have addressed poor pay and treatment of federal firefighters were not approved in the final legislation. However, the bill does allow federal firefighters, including wildland firefighters, to make budget-neutral shift trades across multiple pay periods, facilitating a better work-life balance.”
“It is disappointing that the final version was watered-down without input from labor,” said Randy Erwin, the organization’s president. Erwin said a united effort by NFFE and its affiliate the International Association of Machinists (IAM) to make further gains on agenda items will continue unabated.
“Although the bill did not meet our expectations, NFFE-IAM will continue to fight for each of our members and all federal employees in the coming months. Congress owes its dedicated employees what they have earned through serving our country, and we will do everything in our power to ensure they are taken care of.”
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