U.S. Representatives Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, Jared Golden, D-Maine, Chris Pappas, D-NH, and Annie Kuster, D-NH, have secured language in the fiscal year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act to support Portsmouth Naval Shipyard workers who were hired between January 2016 and December 2016, but had been declared ineligible for the Navy’s Accelerated Promotion Program, a federal career advancement opportunity track.
“For the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to compete with the private sector and retain its skilled workforce, all of the shipyard’s hardworking employees need equal access to the accelerated promotion program and the opportunity to advance in their careers. Our amendment will help us to fix the Navy’s human resources oversight and put workers at the shipyard on the same career trajectory as their colleagues,” the representatives said in a joint statement.
Prior to January 2016 and after December 2016, GS-5/7 level shipyard workers, including those at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, were eligible for a one-time accelerated promotion to the next higher-grade after successful completion of training. However, when the Navy’s Office of Civilian Human Resources stopped the accelerated promotion program during 2016, workers hired during that period were not eligible for the career advancement program. In December 2016, APP was put back into place, but employees hired in that time period were never made whole. The amendment offered by Maine and New Hampshire’s U.S. representatives would a study of the number of workers impacted, and the damage done to their income and promotion levels, in order to collect data necessary to legislate a final fix.