Magazine article National Defense

Avoid 'Analysis Paralysis,' DHS Workers Advised. (Security Beat)

Magazine article National Defense

Avoid 'Analysis Paralysis,' DHS Workers Advised. (Security Beat)

Article excerpt

With the new Department of Homeland Security scheduled to stand up on March 1, Secretary Tom Ridge urged the 170,000 employees of the 22 federal agencies that will be merged together not to fall victim to "analysis paralysis."

Whenever a merger occurs in the private sector, employees inevitably turn their attention from their day-to-day duties, and start wondering what the changes will mean to them: Where will they work? Who will be their boss? What changes will take place in their workplace?

"Don't worry too much about those issues," Ridge told a recent town-hall meeting for future DHS employees in Washington, D.C. "I think that everyone understands that for a year after their unit or department moves into the Department of Homeland Security, everything about them remains the same--their pay, benefits, etc.

"There is this great concern that there will be this massive dislocation of people," Ridge said. "But by and large, people at the borders will stay at the borders. People at the ports are going to stay at the ports ... We want people to remain at their stations."

Ridge dismissed concerns that the new department would seek to undermine collective bargaining and civil-service protections. The department would recognize all existing civil-service guarantees, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Hatch Act and whistleblower protection, he said. …

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