USAREUR converts from NSPS to GS system May 23

By Bruce Anderson and Staff Sgt. Patricia Deal, U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs
April 8, 2010

HEIDELBERG, Germany -- Almost 2,000 National Security Personnel System employees in Headquarters, U.S. Army Europe and its Major Subordinate Commands will transition to the General Schedule personnel system May 23.

The majority of USAREUR’s NSPS employees will transition that day, according to USAREUR’s NSPS Transition Manager Vera Garcia, from the USAREUR G1, Civilian Personnel Directorate.

“The conversion itself will be transparent to the employee, very much like when we converted into NSPS from the GS system,” she said.
“Most importantly, no loss of, or decrease in, pay will occur at transition.”

In a recent article from the American Forces Press Service, the Director of the Pentagon’s NSPS transition office John James, Jr., expressed his commitment in regard to pay, stating that the “department believes in that and believes it is the right thing to do.”

He explained that the preservation of pay encompasses all transitioning employees. For instance, even NSPS employees who are paid a salary that exceeds the highest step in their pay grade, Step 10 under the GS system, will also retain their pay upon conversion.

James also explained in the article that classification specialists will determine the transitioning employee’s grade using GS system criteria.

“If [the employee’s] position classifies out as a GS-13, then that employee will become a GS-13 when they transition.”

As part of the transition, employees will be placed under the Army’s Total Army Performance Evaluation System for performance management upon conversion. TAPES is the standard performance management tool for GS employees.

More information on the transition, including a detailed Frequently Asked Questions section, plus an online “GS 101” training module, is available on the Department of Defense’s NSPS transition Web page A link to the Website is also available on the USAREUR Home Page under Hot Topics.

To ensure employees are making the right career decision for themselves, Garcia said she recommends that affected employees review all the information available at the DOD Web site, talk to their supervisor, take the “GS 101” online class if needed, and consult their Civilian Personnel Advisory Center for individualized questions or concerns.

In the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, Congress repealed the authority for the NSPS and required all employees to be transitioned out of NSPS by no later than Jan. 1, 2012.