Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Leaders address reduction in force concerns for civilian employees

(U.S. Air Force photo/Michael Golembesky)
A full house showed up for a civilian commander’s call April 19 at the base auditorium. Col. Chris Crawford, 21st Space Wing commander, addressed civilians’ concerns about a potential reduction in force.

By Michael Golembesky

21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Col. Chris Crawford, 21st Space Wing commander, addressed a full house of civilian employees at the base auditorium April 19 to address questions and concerns about the looming reduction in force here.

Many topics like furloughs and the sequestration ripple effects were discussed, but the primary purpose of the event was to explain and address the concerns about the upcoming reduction in force.

Crawford started the civilian commander’s call with a no-nonsense look at “How we got to this point” followed by a detailed brief on how RIF actions affect civilian personnel by civilian personal specialists.

At the time of the briefing, there were 21 positions that could still be effected by the RIF. CPO has been trying to reassign those employees in order to avoid the final option of involuntary separation, which no one in the command or community wants to see happen.

Crawford went on to explain that cutting or simply moving allocated funds within the execution year is extremely difficult and many times causes more damage than the initial shortfall. “Extreme honesty and giving you all of the facts in these circumstances is my biggest priority,” he expressed to the audience.

“This is a rough way to run a railroad,” Crawford said. “We want you to have confidence that we, your 21st Space Wing leadership here at Peterson and higher headquarters, are doing everything that we can to advocate for you and keep you informed,” he added.

Peterson currently has some vacancies and CPO is attempting to place employees affected by the RIF into those positions. The goal is to have affected employees placed in a vacancy to avoid going into a phase known as “bump and retreat,” where positions are reallocated to individuals based on seniority and other determining factors. The CPO wants to avoid this phase because of the compounding effect it can have on more employees beyond the 21 requiring placement.

Another topic that was touched upon was the 14 furloughs days that need to be executed by the end of the fiscal year.

Barring any future guidance from Air Force Space Command, the consensus between the commands and agencies here is to collectively coordinate the execution of those furlough days in a manner that will have minimal effect on essential base support facilities and services.

For example, the Child Development Center is one area of great concern and the audience was reassured this service will be unaffected.

For more information about the RIF, furloughs or other civilian personnel issues contact the CPO located in building 350 at 556-4775, or through their SharePoint folder on the 21st Space Wing SharePoint page.

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