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The Air Force will use its reduction in force authority to re-balance its civilian work force and eliminate “surplus employees,” officials said Tuesday.
Though the service got rid of more than 16,000 civilian positions in fiscal 2012, it still has about 1,000 civilians in unfunded positions. The RIFs will take place on 60 installations through Aug. 23, an Air Force release stated.
The RIF is not related to current fiscal challenges being imposed by sequestration, but are part of the service efforts to meet reductions outlined in the fiscal 2012 president’s budget, said Air Force spokeswoman Lt. Col. Laurel Tingley. By using its RIF authority, the service will have the flexibility to shift the civilians into funded positions that allow them to retain their grade or pay, she said.
Tingly said the service will have the flexibility to shift the civilians into funded positions that allow them to retain their grade or pay. She could not estimate how many civilians might be involuntarily separated if a funded position cannot be found for them at their local base, she said. But those who cannot immediately be placed in local vacancies may be registered in the Priority Placement Program.
Brig. Gen. Gina Grosso, the director of force management policy for the Air Force, said in a release that RIF is usually viewed as a negative process, but in this context it will allow many of the service’s civilians to keep their jobs.
“Voluntary efforts to balance the civilian workforce in FY12 have gotten us significantly closer to funded levels, but we still have a way to go in placing the number of surplus employees to funded vacancies, and RIF authorities will enable us to achieve that goal,” Grosso said. “We want to assure everyone involved with this process that we remain committed to minimizing the impacts during these times of transition.”