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Shipyard management to help affected employees

Management at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility says it is taking steps to help employees affected by changes in the position description for test directors and inspectors in the crane department. However, union representatives paint an entirely different picture.

“These employees were placed in the priority placement program because their position was reclassified and it resulted in a downgrade for some employees,” said Patricia Hubler, a spokeswoman for the shipyard.

The PPP is used by the Department of Defense to minimize the adverse effects on employees caused by actions such as position classification decisions, Hubler said.

All permanent DoD employees can be covered by the program at some time in their career, she said.

“Any time an employee is initially entered into the PPP database, a resume is requested,” she said. “This is done in order to insure the Human Resources Specialist can make a determination on the employees’ qualifications.”

Under the program, employees are placed into the program for two years from the date of their downgrade, she said.

Affected employees are generally notified of their active registration through a standard letter sent to all PPP registrants and decisions on qualifications and job offers are usually made within a week to two weeks, she said.

“In this case the employees were informed about the program in writing and a meeting was held with the staff from the Human Resource Service Center, the employees placed in the program and their Union Representatives for 12 January,” she said.

The intent of the meeting was to answer any questions employees had about the program and help them through the process, Hubler said.

However, Rich Burns, president of the Planners-Estimators, Progressmen and Schedulers Local 6 union, said the implementation of the program has created more confusion for workers affected by the changes.

“It’s totally confusing and things are getting

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