Workforce restructure process continues
FORT WAINWRIGHT, ALASKA - Col. Ronald M. Johnson, commander, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Wainwright, held five town hall meetings over the last two weeks to talk about the reshaping of the garrison workforce at Fort Wainwright.
This is the second round of town hall meetings. Initially employees were called together following the Department of Defense announcement December 9 that Department of the Army civilian positions would be reduced by 8,741 by September 30, 2012.
Discussion of workforce reshaping was limited to Installation Management Command civilian employees working for the garrison, not those in other commands such as Medical Department Activity-Alaska or U.S. Army Alaska.
The main subject of discussion was the results from the recent mock reduction-in-force, or mock RIF, that was completed earlier this month by the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center. Should there be a real RIF, tenure, veteran's preference, service computation dates and performance evaluations will factor into determining an employee’s retention standing.
“There is no RIF,” Johnson said. “The mock RIF was held at the garrison to give leadership and our employees better information to help them make decisions or become better aware of their individual situations.”
Employees who want to find out if they are potentially affected by the mock RIF should call the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center at 353-7206. The only information CPAC will provide to an employee is if they were potentially affected, not any details on how they might be impacted, said Bob Verschueren, Alaska CPAC director.
The mock RIF is a planning tool used by management and to make informed decisions such as whether to continue to use restructuring tools like Voluntary Early Retirement Authority or Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay.
“What we are trying to do is allow our workforce to make the best informed decision on whether to stay in the organization or decide to participate in Voluntary Early Retirement Authority or Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay,” Johnson said.
Rose Wentland, chief, Manpower and Agreements Branch
USAG Fort Wainwright Resource Management Office
explained the programs.
Rose Wentland, chief, Manpower and Agreements Branch USAG Fort Wainwright Resource Management Office explained the programs.
“VERA is an incentive for eligible employees who elect to retire early,” she said. “VSIP is a monetary incentive for employees to voluntarily separate. This incentive may be used together with VERA.”
Personnel from Richardson and Wainwright applied for the early retirement and separation incentive programs in January; 17 packages were received by the deadline. Between the two locales, a dozen applications were approved so far: Five people from Wainwright were approved for VERA; four from Wainwright for VSIP; and three were approved for VSIP at Richardson. As of Thursday, five packages have been withdrawn. The approving authority was Debra D. Zedalis, region director for IMCOM Pacific.
Both VERA and VSIP result in the creation of additional vacancies for placement of impacted employees within the organization or abolishment of the position, Wentland said.
The garrison has asked for a second opportunity to accept VERA and VSIP applications, she said. It has not yet been approved.
The garrison has also asked for permission to allow early enrollment in the Priority Placement Program. In this program, civilian employees affected by base closures, reductions and consolidations are given maximum assistance in continuing their careers as employees of the federal government through assignment to other positions in the Department of Defense . More information is available by visiting www.cpms.osd.mil/.
Currently, garrison leaders are working to develop a strategy to support competitive internal reassignments, but have not yet been given the go-ahead to execute.
Johnson reminded employees how important it is that their resumes are current.
During the hiring freeze, Soldiers have provided additional support most visibly at the entry gates. Some employees expressed concern that Soldiers were taking over civilian jobs, that’s not the case, Johnson said. This is simply augmenting our workforce so we can accomplish the mission. Because of our limited manning and inability to hire new employees, the only way we can maintain our current access control point operational schedule is by using Soldiers to augment the workforce. It is not a replacement of civilian employees, it is augmentation.
The Army Career and Alumni Program and supervisors can help employees with resumes. CPAC can help with corrections to personnel files.
Another resource for IMCOM employees, The IMCOM Enterprise Placement Program is a voluntary program and no preference is associated with the program as of December 2011. For IMCOM guidance and available positions visit the IEPP secure website https://www.us.army.mil/suite/page/662838.
For assistance updating personnel records or to submit a resume to CPAC, contact Anne Miller in building 1045 room 7. If you have questions call 353-7208.
The union has been involved during all steps of the process and is a good starting point if employees have questions. The union can be reached at 353-7299.
Updates will be available 24 hours on the workforce reshaping information line, 353-5000. Questions and comments can be left for the commander via a question and answer website dedicated to workforce reshaping or via Interactive Customer Evaluation. Both ICE and the Q and A form are linked on Fort Wainwright’s public website, www.wainwright.army.mil.