Furlough is focus of IMCOM town hall

| May 31, 2013 | 0 Comments

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Robert Dozier
U.S. Army Installation Management Command

Senior leaders at the U.S. Army Installation Management Command headquarters addressed the issue of an 11-day furlough for civilian personnel at their recent town hall meeting.

Lt. Gen. Mike Ferriter, commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Rice, senior enlisted leader, explained the effect of this action on employees throughout the IMCOM community and offered a look ahead as this fiscal year closes, and into the next FY.

“The nation is in budget trouble, and when the Budget Control Act and sequestration hit us, the Army knew they had to balance things like the size of the Army,” said Ferriter. “The Army is determined to fund readiness first because we don’t want our Soldiers deploying without training.”

IMCOM has a major role in readiness and resilience of the force and is sharing in budget sacrifices. Compared to fiscal 2012, the IMCOM budget has been reduced by 21 percent.

“As a command, we are getting better at what we do, and despite all that we face, we’ve been able to maintain without a reduction in force at headquarters,” said Ferriter. “Everywhere we save money and bend on the way we are doing things, it helps us move forward.”

The number of furlough days has been reduced from 22 down to 11 through the end of the fiscal year. Furloughs will save $1.8 billion from the overall military budget.

Notices will likely be distributed between May 28 and June 3, to meet the required 30-day notice before furloughs begin. Notices will identify both the “reply” official, who will receive the employee’s response, and the “deciding” official, who will respond to any employee protests to the furlough.

Technically, a furlough is an adverse action, because of its effect on the employee.

All nonappropriated fund employees are exempt from sequestration furloughs.

“Furlough is big business,” said Ferriter. “It hurts you and we know it. It was a Defense Department all-in, and we didn’t get a vote, but we know whoever you are and whatever you do, every piece of paper we touch is a Soldier or family action. HQ (Headquarters) Department of the Army knows the adverse effect if we are not there … what you do makes a difference.”

IMCOM has announced that headquarters will move to a four-day workweek during the furlough period; however, each garrison commander will make his or her own scheduling decisions locally.

Those garrisons under collective bargaining agreements have consulted directly with their union officials in preparation for furloughs.

Employees who are members of a union are encouraged to consult with them for any updates and guidance.

After final furlough decision notices are sent, employees may appeal the agency’s decision to the Merit System Protection Board within 30 days from the effective date of the furlough.

Decisions regarding the termination of temporary and term employees will be made at the local garrison.

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