Funding cut for DHS pay-for-performance system

Government employee unions are fighting tooth and nail any attempt to overhaul government personnel systems to pay employees based on performance, rather than just being listed on the payroll. And in the Department of Homeland Security, where it could be argued that such a system is desperately needed, the unions have won again, putting homeland security in jeopardy.

The change from the current pay system won’t take place until it’s funded, and the unions have managed to convince Congress not to fund it, every time it’s come up. And this week Congress did it again, killing $15 million which would have been appropriated to implement the new pay-for-performance system at DHS.

The National Treasury Employees Union, which has long opposed the new personnel system, lauded the House action.

“DHS’s continuing efforts to move forward with [the personnel system’s] implementation, despite NTEU victories in court declaring large portions of the system illegal, are threatening our national security and causing dangerously low morale among front-line employees,” said Colleen Kelley, the union’s president. — Government Executive

After all, government bureaucrats should be paid for having their jobs, not for doing their jobs, according to that twisted logic. If that bothers someone in the Homeland Security Department, those people shouldn’t be there, for they constitute the true risk to national security, not the simple — and for government employees, frightening — requirement that people actually do their jobs well in order to get pay raises.