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USAREC Begins Negotiatians With Labor Unions In Preparation Of Sequester Furloughs

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On 14 February 2013, The USAREC Commanding General held a Town hall  meeting to address the impact of fiscal constraints on the command. Major General Mann decided to share the current impact the sequester would have on the recruiting command; making an attempt to eliminate rumors, and speculation.

Major General Mann discussing USAREC Furlough

Up front he reiterated the immediate actions directed by the Secretary of the Army to reduce Fiscal Year 2013 expenditures, such as the 30 percent reduction in base operating funds, curtailment of non mission critical TDY and the Armywide civilian hiring freeze, as well as those actions directed by the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) to reduce travel, supplies and services by 50 percent and closely review current contracts.

Additionally, Recruiting Command is reducing brigade and battalion staff government vehicle usage 25 percent, eliminating paid overtime, suspending overseas travel, curtailing military unit awards programs and discretionary board expenditures, and cancelling educator tours involving travel and many non-mission-critical national marketing events. Institutional training at military schools will continue for the time being, he said, but all other training is suspended for both military and civilians, except where required for professional licensure or certification.

“I want to make sure – to the greatest extent possible – that day-to-day recruiting operations at the center level are not impacted,” Mann said. He has asked recruiters in the field to continue outreach efforts to develop and nurture local community relationships, and to leverage grassroots partnerships, especially those that don’t require additional resources.

He also emphasized his guidance to subordinate commanders that there will be no degradation in support to Soldiers, civilians and families. “We are not going to let that happen, period,” he said, calling the safety and well-being of all members of the team “sacrosanct.” Read full article…

On 12 March 2013, MG Mann released a memo to the US Army Recruiting Command’s civilian workforce.

SUBJECT: USAREC Furlough Planning

This memo is to inform you that USAREC has entered into negotiations with the labor unions that represent the bargaining unit employees in the Command regarding the potential implementation of a furlough. Our goal is to complete these negotiations by 18 March 2013 to ensure appropriate notice is given to employees, if it becomes necessary. While no decision has yet been made to enact an Army wide furlough, we are conducting the planning measures necessary to posture the command to act and minimize the adverse impact to employees and the recruiting mission in the event a furlough is directed.

Furlough of Army civilian employees remains a Secretary of the Army level decision. The Army Continues to clearly state that furlough is considered a tool of last resort. The Secretary of Defense notified Congress on 20 February 2013 that a furlough may be necessary, if sequestration was not averted. As stated in his memo to you, at least 30~days notice will be provided to employees prior to furlough.

If furlough is required, every USAREC civilian employee is subject to a furlough of 22 discontinuous workdays 176 hours); no USAREC civilian employee will be exempt. The furlough period could begin as early as 23 Apr 13, and extend through 21 Sep 13 (the end of the last full pay period in FY 13). These are the only details we can provide until negotiations with all unions that represent our workforce are completed. Due to our geographic dispersion, USAREC’s workforce is covered by 10 separate unions, and negotiations must be completed with all 10 before we can release specific furlough plans to the workforce.

Again, I understand the fiscal environment creates uncertainty for the civilian workforce and there remain many unanswered questions. We will do our best to keep the civilian workforce informed as events unfold. To that end, additional information and answers to frequently asked questions regarding furlough can be found at www.opm.gov/furlough and at www.tradoc.army.mil/Civlnfo.asp. The Department of Labor published information on unemployment compensation for Federal employees at www.dol.gov/sequestration. I thank you for the hard work you do every day and ask for your continued support of our important mission as we all work through these uncertain times.

In these times of fiscal uncertainty, all we can do is hop (and pray) that our Leaders get things sorted out as soon as possible.