Partnership for Public Service urges civil service reform; unions object

The Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit that focuses on federal employee issues, is calling for an overhaul of the federal civil service system.

ADNODE: ;; AVCREDIT: ;; BLURB: The Washington Post's Fred Hiatt speaks to Max Stier, President and CEO of Partnership for Public Service, about the best places to work for within the federal government and how leadership plays a key role in employee satisfaction. ;; EDITOR: ;; HEADLINE: Which federal employees are happy? ;; HEIGHT: 270 ;; HIDDENCOM: opinions ;; KEYWORDS: opinions ;; LENGTH: ;; MEDIAPLAYER: Ninja ;; ORBITID: VI2010092302843 ;; PLAYLIST: LI2010031202156 ;; PNAVSEC: /media/opinion ;; PUBLISH: YES ;; SEARCH: YES ;; SHOOTDATE: 2010-09-23 11:23:23 ;; SLUG: 09232010-29v ;; SMEDIAURL: http://static.washingtonpost.com/wp/swf/OmniPlayer.swf?id=09232010-29v&flvURL=/media/2010/09/23/09232010-29v.m4v&playAds=true&adZone=wpni.video.opinion&canShare=true&jsonURL=http%3A%2F%2Fmedia.washingtonpost.com%2Fmedia%2Fmeta%2F2010%2F09%2F23%2F09232010-29v.jsn ;; SOURCE: The Washington Post ;; WIDTH: 480 ;;
Max Stier, president and CEO of Partnership for Public Service (The Washington Post)

“Our nation’s civil service system is a relic of a bygone era,” said Max Stier, the Partnership’s president and CEO.

In a report issued Tuesday, the Partnership and the Booz Allen Hamilton consulting firm said the entire system, including hiring, pay and the Senior Executive Service, need repair.

Among other things, the Partnership proposed replacing the 15 grade levels of the General Schedule (GS) system with five levels “that more closely align with the knowledge work that most federal employees currently perform.”

Federal employee organizations criticized the plan.

“The proposals for changes impacting the federal government and its workforce advanced by the Partnership for Public Service ignore the real priorities needed today,” said Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union. “The most important step right now that can be taken by everyone who cares about a highly-functioning and effective civil service is to end the severe budget cuts that have been crippling the ability of federal agencies to provide critical services to the public.

“Many of the Partnership’s proposals have been presented previously and discarded. They would make hiring and pay-setting more subjective and less transparent.”

federaldiary@washpost.com

Twitter: @JoeDavidsonWP

Joe Davidson writes the Federal Diary, a column about federal government and workplace issues that celebrated its 80th birthday in November 2012. Davidson previously was an assistant city editor at The Washington Post and a Washington and foreign correspondent with The Wall Street Journal, where he covered federal agencies and political campaigns.

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