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AMC NSPS implementation schedule announced

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Air Mobility Command will begin implementation of the National Security Personnel System to non-bargaining unit employees in October in accordance with a recent announcement by the Deputy Secretary of Defense.

Within the command, about 2,100 non-bargaining unit positions will be converted in Spiral 1.2 in two phases, with employees at Charleston Air Force Base, S.C.; Dover AFB, Del.; McConnell AFB, Kan.; McGuire AFB, N.J.; and Scott AFB converting in October. Employees at the remaining AMC bases will convert in January.

NSPS is one of the most significant changes to the Department of Defense personnel system in 27 years, and will eventually replace the decades-old General Schedule personnel ranking and pay system.

To prepare for the implementation, AMC is holding several training classes across the command to educate the workforce on the new system and ensure a smooth transition. The classes are aimed specifically at performance management, how to write performance job objectives, and human resource management.

"A clear understanding of performance job objectives and how they tie to the organization's mission is absolutely critical for those going under the new system," said Brenda Romine, Air Mobility Command's NSPS command champion. She stressed that good communication between supervisors and employees is key in establishing performance expectations and understanding how they (employees) contribute to a unit's mission.

In addition to providing training, AMC officials will be working with wings to revise pay pool structures, since initially only non-bargaining unit employees - those either excluded by the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute or not covered by a specific labor union - will be in pay pools. In the near future, training in pay pool management will also be provided to wing supervisors and managers.

Civilian personnel offices will handle all behind-the-scenes items such as coding personnel and establishing management hierarchies, making the actual transition largely transparent to employees.

Once the conversion occurs, people will see a designation change on their leave and earnings statement from a GS rating to designations which identify the career group and pay schedule they're in. There will be no changes in a person's duties; the most visible change will be job objectives, which the employee and the supervisor have jointly written.

As AMC's transition to NSPS draws near, feedback on the new system is mixed.

"I've had many people come up to me and say, ‘This is great!' … these people see the potential opportunities associated with the new system and are anxious to jump in with both feet," said Ms. Romine. "On the other hand, I've also had people who continue to express reservations about supervisors fairly administering a pay-for-performance system. That is why it is so critically important that supervisors, both military and civilian, attend the training when it's time."

Ms. Romine said she believes NSPS is a good thing for the civilian workforce, and that it is essential that people remain active participants in the system. "There is no other time in our career as a civil servant that we have had the opportunity to impact our futures as much as we have now under this system," said Ms. Romine. "I encourage people to work toward making it the system everyone wants to be part of in the future."

For more information on NSPS, visit the DoD NSPS site.