By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs, / Published June 11, 2015
WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- In an effort to lead its force management actions with voluntary programs, Air Force officials announced a third round of civilian workforce shaping measures beginning June 15.
The measures are necessary to meet the Air Force’s headquarters organization and staffing reductions, which were designed to eliminate redundant activities, improve efficiencies and satisfy previous secretary of Defense direction to reduce management headquarters costs and staff levels by 20 percent.
Voluntary early retirement authority (VERA) and voluntary separation incentive pay (VSIP) will be used to realign and rebalance the civilian force during the third round of the program. The final round of voluntary measures focuses primarily on Headquarters Air Force-assigned civilian employees.
“As in past years, we will continue to offer voluntary early retirement authority and voluntary separation incentive pay to the maximum extent possible before we implement a reduction in force,” said Debra Warner, the director of Civilian Force Policy. “The Air Force is committed to sustaining excellence, meeting fiscal requirements and minimizing negative impacts on our current permanent civilian workforce and their families.”
Civilian employees will receive VERA/VSIP interest surveys from their local civilian personnel sections (CPS) on or about June 15, with responses due by June 26, unless an earlier date is established by local CPSs. Applicants approved for this final round of fiscal year VERA/VSIP programs must separate no later than Sept. 30.
“Our civilians are an integral part of our force, and their contributions are instrumental in our mission success,” Warner said. “Our challenge, in a fiscally constrained environment, is to maintain the ready and capable civilian force today and a modern workforce tomorrow.”
The processes available to rebalance or reskill the workforce includes using reduction-in-force procedures to determine overage employee priority placement rights into positions, as well as, providing the flexibility to waive qualifications and provide retained grade and pay if placed in a lower graded position.
In that regard, the Air Force headquarters and other participating bases will begin their preparations for submitting requests for approval to use reduction-in-force procedures in an effort to place employees in continuing permanent positions.
“The Air Force is committed to using voluntary separation programs as much as possible before pursuing involuntary options,” Warner said.