Dear Govexec,

Recently your publication did cover a story on the "grand vision of NSPS and the clone plans to follow", Mr. Charles Abell (Chair DOD NSPS Team) suggested that Unions are impeding the desires of DOD workers. He was quoted on as saying- "Abell took issue with the argument that employees are upset with the changes. "I don't think the [harsh] rhetoric [of union officials] at the national level matches the feeling at the local level, even among union stewards," he said.

Indeed, this kind of "tabloid propaganda" has resulted in an increase of pro-NSPS rhetoric by various DOD commands. Often DOD mandates staff meetings for distribution and "all employee bulletins" every day. Of course, DOD is restricting the Unions' and workers comments from equal access or even the duty hour subsidization of pro-NSPS advocates exploit with their version. DOD limits us to a "rest of the story" update and we can only respond with our reports on the Meet & Confer sessions on our Union bulletin boards, and incite conversations over the reality of NSPS.

Just ask anyone on the NSPS DOD team about the recent town hall meeting in San Diego, CA and how well DOD workers are accepting the Trojan horse named NSPS. There is no ambiguity here. Nothing "fair and balanced" about it either.

While workers and their representatives make some of the press headlines, its not spoken of in the major ones like the lies Mr. Abell's create.

It is so important to understand the power DOD workers talking with co-workers about facts (verses DOD's propaganda) improves DOD worker credibility with the public and builds the necessary leverage for intervention on NSPS by Congress. We can't get there any other way.

I can't help but wonder if the journalist staff read their own "mailbags" comment. If they do, the majority perspective is not a perspective they are willing to report on.

These replies from DOD workers on NSPS are almost all negative. As you can read for yourself, DOD workers overwhelmingly reject NSPS as "improvement" and clearly understand what this is really all about. NSPS takes away employee benefits, increases the opportunity for "corporate profit motivated government contracts", wasted tax dollars, and casts shadows over the public's view of "democratic" government.

All the rhetoric takes focus off creating efficient government and responsible guarding of tax dollar assets - all goals NSPS was packaged as. It doesn't build an ounce of increased capacity for our nation's defense, and it won't catch a terrorist either.

Reality is a striking contradiction to the "fair and balanced" view of Mr. Abell.

The Irony? Mr. Abell leads DOD by advocating a narrowed scope of bargaining for employees and their unions and refuses to respond with any rationale or examples of current law/regulation or employee benefit has impeded a mission by DOD or National Security. He obviously is not reading the real reactions to NSPS from the employees and doesn't care. He cares about keeping employees and unions out of "his" National Security business.

And yet, Mr. Abell also knows how AFGE should be running our Union?

The arrogance of this position is not only ignorant-it smacks of an appointed government official trying to hide from its citizens-not exactly democratic in principle, nor efficient in objective. Without civil servant personnel protections which immunize DOD employees from political whims – enforced and litigated by their unions, the public wouldn't have a clue over tax expenditures and how "democratic government" really works.

I wonder how long it would take a CEO to fire a government contract employee for public disclosure of taxpayers paying $400 for an ashtray?

Political appointees are convinced our nation's citizens are too ignorant to see the "Ruling Class Agenda". Their rhetoric insults the intelligence and patriotism of DOD workers by suggesting we don't get it either. But they are wrong. Now, more than ever, we understand our sworn civil servant oath to defend against enemies of democracy –both foreign and domestic.

That's right – A career Department of Defense civil servant is loyal to the real supervisors, the American Public as per § 3331 Oath of office. This contrasts to the background and constituencies of the authors of NSPS; political appointees. As time-share civil servants and under a veil of patriotism, the authors and advocates remain loyal to their corporate global ruling class masters.

Mr. Abell, that flag is not "green as the color of money"-it's red, white, and blue-. And don't try to hide yourself or your agenda behind it anymore. That American flag is not yours; it belongs to our taxpayers and our DOD workers as guardians. Your actions and agenda denigrate the American soldiers who pay the ultimate price to defend our flag, and the constitutional democracy DOD workers (not political appointees) have dedicated careers to.

Shame on you.

Gerald Swanke

National Vice-President

AFGE 11th District