Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Schriever Sentinel

Leadership provides update on civilian workforce

By Jennifer Thibault

50th Space Wing Public Affairs

The 50th Space Wing commander hosted a town hall meeting March 26 to provide civilians and their supervisors an update on the civilian workforce restructuring actions taken to date.

“We’re doing absolutely everything we can to make sure you’re taken care of and to protect your rights,” said Col. James Ross during his opening remarks.

He then reminded the hundreds gathered of the initial impact Air Force civilian workforce restructuring has had locally.

“We had 147 total billets affected here at Schriever which includes our mission partners, 116 of those were encumbered,” he said. “Currently we have 70 employees base wide who are still impacted.”

Normal attrition and other employment opportunities are credited with reducing Schriever’s impacted personnel, including 27 Schriever members who took advantage of VERA/VSIP.

More may take advantage of a third round of VERA/VSIP set to begin May 1 according to the Air Force announcement March 23. See the announcement on page 6.

With the installation’s 169 vacancies on the surface it seems that people would just be moved to new jobs. However skill codes and grades of the vacant positions don’t match those of the remaining affected employees.

“When we look at the backgrounds and our vacancies there are a lot of mismatches,” said Ross who’s hopeful that voluntary measures, such as another round of VERA/VSIP will lessen the number of affected employees. “I want to reassure you that every voluntary measure will be exhausted.”

Bryant Rushing, Schriever civilian personnel section director, joined Ross up front as they opened the floor to questions.

One audience member asked if placement of the 70 impacted employees would be on hold until the next round of VERA/VSIP actions are completed.

“We have completed our analysis and are looking at potential placements now. You’ll see some management directed reassignments in the coming weeks,” said Rushing. “We’re working as quickly as we can to get everyone placed as quickly as possible but it will vary based on career fields.”

Another question regarded the management initiated reassignment and management directed reassignment process, specifically whether or not employees were required to take the position offered.

“In the current environment we are looking for an amenable match for both the employee and the potential gaining unit, so the employee does have the option to turn down the position without it affecting their status within the civilian system,” said Rushing.

Another question requested a list of potential impacted career fields and grades.

“This is a highly fluid situation and any such document would and could change by the minute,” said Rushing. “However, [the civilian personnel section] can meet with individuals to review specific opportunities available to them based on their individual situation.”

The commander encouraged attendees to get with the civilian personnel section to obtain more information.

“We want you to be very well informed,” said Ross. “They are here to serve you, to make sure you’re taken care of.”

Employees interested in VERA/VSIP can find more information on the Air Force Personnel Services website at https://gum-crm.csd.disa.mil (keyword search 18351) as well as the Civilian Retirements Homepage (keyword search 15708). The Schriever civilian personnel section (567-5221) is available to answer questions and concerns regarding this process.

Slides from the briefing are available online at www.schriever.af.mil.

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