HUD, union reach agreement on hiring effort

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) and the Housing and Urban Development Department reached an agreement Tuesday on the agency's plan to fill 945 job slots over the next several months.

HUD's Project Hire is designed to raise staffing to a level deemed necessary to carry out its mission. New hires will fill slots that open up through normal attrition.

In the agreement with AFGE, HUD recognized the need for career development for employees and pledged to create more than 200 upward mobility positions for current staff.

One of AFGE's concerns with Project Hire revolved around the issue of "grade parity" for current employees. The union is concerned that many employees' job grades--and therefore, their salaries--do not match the duties they are expected to perform. In the agreement, HUD said it will create a team of management officials and union representatives to review General Schedule positions and work on ensuring grade parity.

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