Federal Librarian Fall 2010

Godort at USNO

Sally Bosken reports that the James M Gilliss library at the US Naval Observatory in Washington DC hosted the GODORT (Government Documents Round Table) reception at ALA’s annual conference this summer.  219 people came for an evening of celebration with looks at rare astronomy books and rarer telescopes.  The attendees had a demonstration of the USNO 26-inch “Great Equatorial” refracting telescope.

This telescope has a rich history.  Completed in 1873 at a cost of $50,000, it was the largest refracting telescope in the world for a decade.  It was with this telescope, in August of 1877, that astronomer Asaph Hall discovered the two moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos, bringing the attention of the world to the USNO.

The move to the Observatory’s present site in 1893 allowed the 26-inch lens to be re-mounted in a new dome with a new mounting designed by the Warner & Swasey Company of Cleveland, OH.  This design incorporated a rising floor to facilitate access to the eyepiece.  This floor is still the largest elevator in the city!
From NSPS to Interim GS

The transition out from NSPS is moving right along.  Not all employees are returning to the GS system and this article deals only with those who are and specifically those who work for the Navy.  For those who thought that former NSPS employees would go back to the GS system as they once knew it, they would be wrong.  The transition took us from one pay for performance system to another, making this a kind of hybrid system.  Our pay is based on the GS system of grades and steps and works the same as the traditional GS system.  Performance forms the basis for all awards over and above ordinary pay.

Our performance cycle stays the same as it was under NSPS, i.e., October 1 – September 30, so we continue to have two different cycles, one for other GS employees who were never under NSPS and one for those who were.

Many aspects of the Interim GS System are similar to NSPS.  We are still eligible to get performance-based cash awards, but these are in the form of bonuses for the most part.  Unlike NSPS, our pay does not increase because of our performance although QSIs (Quality Step Increases) are available to those high performers who are not yet at step 10 of their grade.

If your pay under NSPS falls above step 10 of your transitioned GS grade, then you are allowed to keep your pay under the rules of pay retention, but come January, you will only get ½ of the GPI (government pay increase) that all other Federal Civilian employees get under the GS system.  Eventually, your pay and the step 10 pay will meet and match.

To record our critical elements, standards, and assessments, we no longer use the Performance Appraisal Application, which was an online tool.  It was difficult to use, because many folks just couldn’t figure out where they were supposed to go next.  Now we have a fillable PDF form, which can be signed electronically.

The Department of Defense has been working on developing a permanent Pay For Performance system to replace NSPS.

Yours truly, in the Interim
Lucille M. Rosa

back to contents