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American civilians employed by the Army are being urged to attend a round of town hall meetings in Europe to discuss the new National Security Personnel System.

Various units in Army communities are set to make the change to NSPS from the General Schedule system over the next month.

The switch happened Sunday at most U.S. Air Forces in Europe communities. The biggest exception is also the largest USAFE base — Ramstein — where training on the new system continues. USAFE expects to have its civilian work force converted into the system by the end of March.

Attempts to obtain the Navy’s implementation of the new system in Europe were not successful by press time.

NSPS is supposed to reward good work, not length of time in the organization. Employees judged to have performed at higher levels will be eligible for bonuses at the end of the performance period, which mirrors the fiscal year.

“People who perform very well will be well-rewarded; others may get nothing, (not) even the January pay raise,” said Jim Biggs, the NSPS coordinator for U.S. Army Europe.

“There’s no more guaranteed cost-of-living raises,” said Darren Newland, a human resources specialist at Aviano Air Base, Italy, where about 150 workers have completed the training. Newland said the training at Aviano was meant to inform workers about the changes as well as to give supervisors tools on how to evaluate performance.

He said he expects some employees will be happy to receive their evaluations in October and others less so. Many won’t see any changes in their paychecks until next January.

Biggs said employees should attend the meetings because it is a good way to learn the new system and control their careers.

Employees are being moved from the current stepladder of 15 GS-levels into four career groups: standard career, scientific and engineering, investigative and protective services, and medical. Within the groups there will be pay schedules, and within the schedules, pay bands.

Elizabeth Upton, who works in the protocol office at Aviano, said she’s hopeful the system will do as it says and reward good work.

“So far, I haven’t noticed any changes, because it just started Sunday,” she said. “But I’m optimistic. We’ll be able to have a lot of input into our own job objectives, and I think that anytime that’s true, it’s a good thing.”

The Army, which employs the most civilians among the services in Europe, has held 27 town hall meetings in the German states of Hesse and Bavaria. Biggs said some smaller Army activities in Europe, such as Civilian Human Resources Agency, have already switched. Another 21 meetings, in which Biggs and others give a 90-minute presentation and then answer questions, are scheduled.

Newland said he expects all affected civilian employees, no matter which service they work for, to have questions.

The current group of General Schedule employees is expected to be converted by October to the NSPS system, Biggs said. Local national employees would not be affected by the change, he said.

For more information on the new system click here.

Upcoming NSPS town hall meetingsStuttgart, Germany: Thursday, 10 a.m.-noon, 1-3 p.m., Patch Theater, Patch BarracksMannheim, Germany: Friday, 10 a.m.-noon, 1-3 p.m., Schuh Theater, Funari BarracksSchinnen, Netherlands: Feb. 2, noon-2 p.m., Sports Center, building 38, Emma Mine ComplexBrussels, Belgium: Feb. 6, 10 a.m.-noon, Community Conference Room, building 2, U.S. Army Garrison BrusselsMons, Belgium: Feb. 7, 9-11 a.m., SHAPE Entertainment CenterChievres, Belgium: Feb. 7, 1-3 p.m., Benelux Command Auditorium, building 30, Daumerie CasernVicenza, Italy: Feb. 13, 10 a.m.-noon, 1-3 p.m., Vicenza Theater, Caserma EderleLivorno, Italy: Feb. 14, 1-3 p.m., Livorno Theater, Camp DarbyHeidelberg, Germany: Feb. 22, 9-11 a.m., PHV Theater, Patrick Henry VillageGarmisch, Germany: Feb. 23, 10 a.m.-noon, 1-3 p.m., Pete Burke Center, Artillery CasernHeidelberg: March 6, 1-3 p.m., PHV Theater, Patrick Henry VillageMannheim: March 7, 10 a.m.-noon, Schuh Theater, Funari BarracksKaiserslautern, Germany: March 8, 10 a.m.-noon, Galaxy Theater, VogelwehBaumholder, Germany: March 13, 10 a.m.-noon, 1-3 p.m., Wagon Wheel Theater, Smith BarracksHeidelberg: March 15, 9-11 p.m., PHV Theater, Patrick Henry VillageSaudi Arabia, Kuwait: Date to be announcedCampBondsteel, Kosovo: Dates to be announcedSource: U.S. Army Europe

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