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New civilian personnel system to mean slight pay raise for most

WASHINGTON -- Most of the first 11,000 Defense Department civilian employees to convert to the new civilian personnel system in April will receive a pay increase, an official said March 30.

About 85 percent of people will see an initial bump in pay when they are enrolled in the new National Security Personnel System, or NSPS, said Ms. Joyce Frank, spokeswoman for the system.

The first employees to make the switch in “Spiral 1.1” of the phase-in process will automatically convert to the new system April 30, she said. “No one loses pay” as they convert from the old civil service system to the new pay-for-performance NSPS. Most, in fact, will qualify for a one-time, prorated within-grade increase buy-in.

Employees in Step 9 or lower of their current civil service GS grade and with acceptable performance will receive credit toward their next scheduled within-grade step increase, Ms. Frank explained. The credit will be based on the number of days accumulated toward the increase and will be factored in for eligible employees before their positions are converted to pay bands.

The NSPS Web site will offer a conversion tool within the next few days so employees can determine where they will fall in the pay band system when their positions convert to NSPS, Ms. Frank said. Another new feature on the Web site will be a Web-based training program for employees to learn about NSPS.

A new publication on the Web site, to be issued in hard copy to Spiral 1.1 employees, explains details of the new system, which ultimately will affect more than 650,000 DOD civilian employees.

“HR Elements for Managers, Supervisors and Employees: A Guide to NSPS,” gives employees an overview of the critical elements they need to understand as they convert to NSPS, Ms. Frank said. It covers pay increases and bonuses, pay bands and job objectives, among other topics.

On the guide’s opening page, Mary Lacey, program executive officer for the NSPS, encourages employees to work with their supervisors to establish job objectives and discuss evaluation criteria and how to improve their on-the-job performance.

“NSPS is a system that is good for the department and it is good for you,” Ms. Lacey wrote. “It will strengthen our ability to accomplish our national security mission and provide opportunities to enhance your personal growth and development.”

Implementation of the new system represents “the beginning of a long journey for all of us, and we will learn from one another,” she wrote.

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