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Schriever Sentinel

Schriever prepares for RIF

U.S. Air Force Photo/Dennis Rogers Col. DeAnna M. Burt, 50th Space Wing commander, hosts a town hall Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado. The meeting aimed to present information and address questions regarding the Air Force’s Reduction in Force initiative.
U.S. Air Force Photo/Dennis Rogers Col. DeAnna M. Burt, 50th Space Wing commander, hosts a town hall Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado. The meeting aimed to present information and address questions regarding the Air Force’s Reduction in Force initiative.

U.S. Air Force Photo/Dennis Rogers
Col. DeAnna M. Burt, 50th Space Wing commander, hosts a town hall Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado. The meeting aimed to present information and address questions regarding the Air Force’s Reduction in Force initiative.

By 2nd Lt. Darren Domingo

50th Space Wing Public Affairs

50th Space Wing leadership hosted a town hall meeting to discuss the upcoming Reduction in Force Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in the base fitness center.

Col. DeAnna M. Burt, 50 SW commander, and Dr. Bryant Rushing, Civilian Personnel Office chief, led the town hall to inform the civilian workforce of the Air Force’s mandated RIF, which will take effect April 4.

According to the Office of Personnel Management officials, “in the Federal Government, layoffs are called RIF actions. When an agency must abolish positions, the RIF regulations determine whether an employee keeps his or her present position, or whether the employee has a right to a different position.”

Anticipating the RIF, Schriever leadership and key personnel began preparing for the reduction in September 2014. At the time, there were more than 50 surplused employees on the installation. The combined efforts of Rushing, the personnel office and Schriever supervisors reduced the number of surplused employees to 14.

Burt addressed the civilian employees, “I want you to understand we are a team, and civilians are important to our team. You need to understand how all our teammates are being affected and I want to be clear about what that means to [these] individuals.”

All affected personnel have already been notified about their situation, some more than a year ago. The RIF currently affects 48 Air Force installations.

Burt explained the procedures of carrying out the RIF must strongly follow Air Force regulations and law.

“This is not something we [take] lightly, it’s not a fly by the seat of your pants process,” said Burt. “Everything we do in this process will be governed. It is very specific to law and to regulation.”

Rushing explained how surplus employees may be offered new positions during a RIF.

“I know that [these positions] might not be what you want to do or be the grade you want to be at, but again, at the end of the day, my job is to keep you employed at the federal service. That’s our end state throughout this process,” said Rushing.

There are four major factors that determine personnel’s retention  —  tenure, veteran’s preference, credible service and performance ratings.

An important RIF goal within Schriever is to allow greater flexibility for employees to be placed on their installations while retaining their grade and pay during the transition. Although, there are no guarantees.

Rushing dispelled a rumor that Schriever civilians could compete against Peterson Air Force Base personnel who are also affected by the RIF.

“We’ll be in the same RIF process, but we are [actually] in different competitive areas,” he said.

Rushing transitioned into a question and answer session before turning the meeting over to Burt. Burt reiterated her desires for helping impacted personnel.

“I want to emphasize that I don’t enjoy doing this, nor does Bryant — it’s a major system beyond my control,” said Burt. “But what is in my control is to ensure that Dr. Rushing and I are providing you with every support possible and are making all resources available to you.”

Burt had a final charge to the co-workers and supervisors of personnel throughout this process.

“I ask all of you to be a good wingman, [the RIF] affects people’s livelihoods. We want to do our best, [through] blood, sweat and tears to keep you federally employed,” said Burt.

Civilians should take time now to review and update resumes to mitigate RIF impacts and give personnel the greatest opportunity for placement on Schriever.

The timeline of the Reduction in Force is below:

Feb. 12 — RIF begins

Feb. 29 — Notice of impact to commanders

March 4 — Notifications to impacted employees

April 4 — All RIF actions completed

For additional information, contact Rushing at 719-567-5221.

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