SMDC prepares for new pay system
June 14, 2012
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command received approval to implement the Civilian Acquisition Workforce Personnel Demonstration (AcqDemo) for all civilian employees.
This is a pay-band personnel system designed to replace the general schedule (GS) pay system. The AcqDemo is designed to allow the Army to attract talent in the competitive civilian employee market, as several other local Department of Defense organizations have already implemented this system.
The purpose of the project is to demonstrate that the effectiveness of DoD contracting can be enhanced by allowing greater managerial control over personnel processes and functions and, at the same time, expand the opportunities available to employees through a more responsive and flexible personnel system. This project not only provides a system that retains, recognizes and rewards employees for their contribution, but also supports their personal and professional growth.
"The goal is to convert USASMDC/ARSTRAT Non-Bargaining Unit employees on 7 Oct 12," said Donna Kleefisch, a member of SMDC G-1. "Discussions will be initiated with the union concerning implementation of AcqDemo for Bargaining Unit employees. Training will be provided for senior leaders, human resources personnel and employees in the upcoming months.
"I am standing up the command AcqDemo implementation team with representatives from MSEs and staff offices," she added. "They will be responsible for providing information to the workforce and developing policies and business rules for the implementation of AcqDemo at USASMDC/ARSTRAT."
The scheduled implementation date across the command is Oct. 7. Employees will be affected in Alabama, Colorado, Kansas, Florida, Hawaii, New Mexico, Virginia, Germany, Japan and Kwajalein Atoll.
Kleefisch talked about who will be affected and said that initially, only non-bargaining unit employees will transition to AcqDemo and management is working to establish negotiations to transition to bargaining unit employees. She also explained why the new system is going into effect.
"The intent is to make the command more competitive to recruit and retain well-qualified employees," she said. "Currently, the command competes with AcqDemo and Lab Demo activities to recruit and retain well-qualified individuals. This system will ensure the command can compete with these activities on a more equitable basis."
Kleefisch said the civilian workforce should know about the new implementations and how they will be affected.
"Training will be provided just before and throughout the transition process," she said. "The transition management team will provide details on training for the workforce and management once dates are established.
Once implemented, the changes will include: terms and definitions; broadbands vs. grades and steps; classification and staffing; rating and rewarding; and support tools. Those things remaining unchanged include: retirement, health, life and other benefits; leave; veterans' preference; work schedules and overtime; allowances and travel/subsistence expenses; prohibited personnel practices; anti-discrimination laws; whistleblower protection; fundamental due process; and merit system principles.
Kleefisch also discussed the advantages and disadvantages of the new system.
"The proposed project involves: simplified job classification; broad banding; streamlined hiring processes; modified application of the DoD Priority Placement Program; a contribution-based compensation and appraisal system; expanded training opportunities; sabbaticals; a voluntary emeritus program; and revised reduction-in-force procedures," she said. "The demonstration is the first personnel demonstration that crosses DoD component lines, and the first demonstration to be designed along functional lines instead of organizational lines.
"This demonstration project does not waive civil service laws in the areas of employee leave, employee benefits, equal employment opportunity, political activity, merit system principles, or prohibited personnel practices," Kleefisch added. "As with all changes, there will be a learning curve associated with employees and management becoming acclimated to the new personnel system."
Additional details about AcqDemo are available at the Army Acquisition Support Center website under http://asc.army.mil/new/default.html in the policies section.