Anybody in government hit by a "no-fault" demotion since January 1977 would be restored to his old pay grade under legislation that has cleared the House Post Office-Civil Service Committee.
The bill gone to the Appropriations Committee. It must put its seal of approval on the bill (as it is expected to do) because it required some expenditures in back pay and paper-work that were not anticipated in the budget.The House should get the bill - and approve it - after the Easter recess.
Thousands of government workers have been demoted over the past 14 months because of reorganizations, or because their jobs were found to have been improperly classified at too high a grade. Those "no-fault" demotions would be covered by the bill.
In addition, "no-fault" demotions in the future would be blocked by the protection for some workers and par-protection for some workers and Partial grade and pay protection for others. More on that later.
Passage of the legislation would ease the minds of thousands of federal workers in HEW Defense Commerce AID and other places where on-going or anticipated reorganizations will mean elimination of jobs or demotions.
The bill would permit the demotions to take place on paper but insulate employes in those jobs from the drop in grade and salary. In many cases a demotion wouldn't take effect until somebody new came into the job at which time it would be reclassified downward if indicated.
Chairman Robert N. C. Nix (D-Pa.) introduced the bill (H. R. 9279) to give demotion protection, and restoration of grades, to workers who were down-graded because of reclassification.
President Carter later promised that nobody in government would be demoted, fired or lose pay because of reorganization, and promise has been put in legal language as part of the Nix bill.
The proposal would give lifetime grade retention for workers who are reclassified (so long as they remain in their current job) and temporary grade retention and "saved pay" for employes hit by reorganizations of agencies or because of layoffs that forced senior workers to "bump" less senior employes into lower grade jobs.
Many federal agencies have frozen demotion actions because of the Nix bill, even though they expect massive downgradings would result from either reorganization or because wide-spread overgrading problems have been turned up by agency job audits.
The Nix bill would allow agencies to go ahead with reorganizations or reclassifications which would protect incumbents, but permit their jobs to downgraded after they had moved to other positions, quit or retired.
Navy Move: Federal agencies that like to play musical chairs with people and buildings could learn something from the Bureau of Navy Personnel. It is being forced into a temporary switch - from Arlington to Silver Spring - but is handling to with the knowledge that real people are involved.
During renovation of their Arlington home base, about 750 civilian and military people will be assigned to a Georgia Avenue building about two block from the Silver Spring Metro station. To make it easier for workers, Navy is trying to arrange for extra parking and to provide shuttle buses from the old site to the new one.
For workers who cannot make the tamporary move because of hardship, Capt. F. B. Harris says that Navy will try to reassign them closer to their present Arlington location.