I continue to hear complaints from chemical facility security inspectors (CFSI) about the way that the management of ISCD is handling their pay issues. It should be clear to anyone that is paying attention that this job is not a typical 9-to-5 job and between travel, inspections and writing up the results of those inspections, the typical CFSI spends much more than 40 hours a week supporting the CFATS program.
Unfortunately, it seems that there may have been mistakes made when the compensation system was established for the CFSI, particularly with the administratively uncontrollable overtime (AUO) system. Given the speed with which the CFATS program was established and the unique nature of the program, such mistakes are not unexpected, and are certainly not reprehensible in and of themselves. The reports I’m getting, however, seem to indicate that more attention is being paid to passing blame than with problem resolution.
What appears to be causing the dissension in the ranks is the perception that the people being brought in to solve the problem do not understand the type of job being done by CFSI and, worse yet, don’t appear to care to try to understand. This combined with still unresolved locality pay issue leaves many CFSI feeling that they are going to be stuck holding the financial bag when these problems are finally ‘resolved’.
One of the things that I learned early in my military career was that if your people trusted you to try to do the right thing, they would put up with a lot of hardship and would do their best to do the right things themselves when it came to making hard choices. If they didn’t trust you, problems get magnified all out of proportion to their actual extent and no one would be willing to take the risk of trying to do the right thing.
Fortunately, the current leadership of ISCD, though certainly not responsible for the initial problems, will probably not remain in their current position much longer, being placeholder, acting management. When a new Director is hired one of the first things that person is going to have to do is to regain the trust and respect of the workforce in the division. In the meantime, the leadership of NPPD and DHS need to assure the CFSI that they will not be stuck paying for the mistakes that were apparently made in setting up the CFSI compensation system. Or perhaps Congress needs to make those reassurances.