WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Air Force made an announcement last week that some installations will implement civilian reduction in force authorities effective through April 4. The measure, which is part of a continuing effort to meet Defense Department funding targets and rebalance the civilian workforce, will not affect Hill Air Force Base at this time.
Following a major command needs assessment in early August, more than 1,000 civilian overages were identified across 48 Air Force installations going into fiscal year 2016. Having the RIF authorities will assist in the placement of employees not assigned against funded positions and allow greater flexibilities for employees to be placed at their installations while retaining their grade or pay.
“Voluntary efforts to balance the civilian workforce since fiscal year 2014 have moved us significantly closer to our target manning levels,” said Lt. Gen. Gina Grosso, the deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services. “We have reduced the number of affected employees through several rounds of voluntary separation and retirement programs, as well as reassignments to vacant positions.”
Overage positions have been reduced through pre-RIF placements, hiring controls and several rounds of Voluntary Early Retirement Authority and Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay in fiscal years 2014 and 2015. The Air Force no longer has the ability to carry overages when the position is not funded and will use RIF authorities to help place most of the remaining civilians on funded positions.
The RIF authority allows each location to use additional placement options such as: change to lower grade, retain pay/retain grade protections, and waiver of qualifications to place additional affected employees. The remaining employees will be offered registration in the DOD Priority Placement Program and receive consideration for future vacancies according to their registration.
“Although we have made great strides, we still have a number of affected employees to place into funded vacancies, and RIF authorities will enable us to achieve that goal,” said Debra Warner, the director of civilian force management policy. “The Air Force recognizes and strives to balance the invaluable contributions of our civilian workforce with the fiscal realities under which the DOD and the government as a whole are operating.”
The processes available use RIF procedures to determine employee placement rights into vacancies as well as provide the flexibility to waive qualifications to create more placement options.
“We will take care of our civilian Airmen by using every possible measure to minimize personal financial hardship for our civilian workforce and their families,” Grosso said. “We are committed to assisting each individual through this transition.”
The fiscal 2016 civilian RIF implementation is separate from sequestration actions.
For information about civilian employment, RIF and other personnel issues, visit the Air Force Personnel Center website.