Thursday, February 23, 2012 - 9:56am

Updated Feb. 23: AFGE Local 1345 at Ft. Carson, Colo., has shared copies of the request it submitted for information on the downsizing of employees, along with the response it received from the agency. Copies of the request and the response are below. As you will see, the agency provided details only on positions in which employees accepted buyouts or early outs, and claimed it had not identified any positions or functions for downsizing or elimination.

Updated Jan. 25: Federal Times reports on the Air Force civilian workforce cuts in its Jan. 23 issue and interviews AFGE Air Force Caucus Chair John Santry, who discusses how unsettling and disturbing the cuts are. Included is a graphic listing the 20 Air Force bases that are facing the steepest cuts. A copy of the article is attached below. 

Updated Jan. 12: Details are beginning to come out on the second round of Air Force cuts announced Jan. 5. A 15-page Powerpoint slide, attached below, details the Jan. 12 announcement regarding the Round 2 cuts.

Nearly 600 civilian positions are being cut at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio, although the net loss will be 234 jobs after accounting for gains in other areas. Also being eliminated are six of 28 Air Force civilian jobs in Kettering. The other Ohio locations affected are Kettering (6 jobs cut out of 28), Columbus, Heath, Youngstown-Warren and Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base.

Updated Jan. 6: The Air Force on Jan. 5 announced a second round of buyouts and early outs. Civilian employees will receive VERA/VSIP eligibility surveys from their personnel managers in January and applications are due Feb. 3 or an earlier date established by local authorities. Applicants approved for this round of VERA/VSIP will need to separate on or before April 30.

Updated Dec. 16: The Air Force on Dec. 15 lifted the hiring freeze that's been in place for most of the year, but employees aren't out of the woods yet. Another round of early outs and buyouts will be announced in January.

Updated Dec. 12: DEFCON leadership would like to remind Local Presidents and Council Presidents that it's vitally important that they send out information requests at the level of recognition regarding the impending DoD cuts. LPs and CPs should let Field Services and Education Department know what information they get back. If you don't get any information back, then the Locals and Councils should file a ULP and let FSED know that a ULP has been filed.

A draft request for information form letter is attached at the bottom of this message. We have also posted an overview of new FLRA guidance regarding the filing of information requests that might be useful to review. In addition, here's a Web page that links to the model FLRA information request form:

Updated Nov. 16: AFGE and DEFCON have prepared two documents to help locals and bargaining councils that are impacted by the Department of Defense's massive job cutting plan.

The first document is a Fact Sheet that provides general information on the proposed cuts, actions AFGE National has been doing to protest the cuts and suggested actions for DoD Locals to take. This document has been approved for distribution at the worksite, so feel free to print it out and pass it around.

The second document is 

What we need to communicate to LPs is that we would like them to send out information requests and a) let FSED know what information they get back, and b) if they do not get information back, they should file a ULP and let FSED know they have filed a ULP.  

Updated Dec. 9: The Army issued a press statement Thursday saying it is moving forward with plans to cut 8,700 civilian positions by the end of September. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has warned of further, "huge" cuts as a result of the failure of the supercommittee to meet deficit reduction goals. 

Updated Dec. 5: DoD may have to cut 20 percent of its civilian workforce -- 150K jobs -- by Oct. 2013 to meet budget cutting targets, Federal Times is reporting.

Updated Dec. 1: Our brothers and sisters at AFGE Local 779 at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, have shared two documents (posted below) that they used to brief their local congressman regarding the impending job cuts. Our message was well received by the congressman, who had no idea that these cuts were taking place, Local President Stephanie Medley-Arens said. 

These documents could be useful for other locals that are trying to set up meetings with their congressional representatives. If you have developed similar talking points, feel free to pass them along so we can post them here. Email them to Tim Kauffman, AFGE Communications Specialist, at

In related news, the two Senators and one House member representing Alaska sent a letter to the Air Force Secretary and Chief of Staff voicing their concern about the job cuts taking place at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and Eielson Air Force Base. The lawmakers wrote: "We are extremely concerned about the workers impacted by this decision. We have to keep in mind these are real people and this bad news piles on to an already bleak outlook on jobs." A copy of the letter is posted below.


Updated Nov. 16: AFGE and DEFCON have prepared two documents to help locals and bargaining councils that are impacted by the Department of Defense's massive job cutting plan.

The first document is a Fact Sheet that provides general information on the proposed cuts, actions AFGE National has been doing to protest the cuts and suggested actions for DoD Locals to take. This document has been approved for distribution at the worksite, so feel free to print it out and pass it around.

The second document is a draft request for information that Locals and Councils are encouraged to file at the level of recognition. This request seeks details on how many positions and functions are being targeted for elimination, how these decisions were made and what is going to happen to the work that is being transfered or eliminated.

Original post: Notifications of potential job cuts have been filtering down to individual Defense Department installations, and we will be using this space to keep you informed.

We have been advised that the Air Force plans to cut 13,500 civilian jobs by the end of the current fiscal year (Sept. 30), but will be creating 5,900 new positions in nuclear enforcement and other fields. So there will be a net reduction of 7,600 jobs, which the Air Force hopes to accomplish largely through attrition. The Air Force intends to offer another round of buyouts (Voluntary Separation Incentive Payments) to encourage employees to voluntary quit. A Power Point presentation is included below that provides some useful links regarding buyouts, early outs and reductions in force.

The Army has announced plans to eliminate 9,560 jobs by the end of the current fiscal year (Sept. 30). The Army intends to replace many of these jobs with contractors, which is a direct violation of federal laws that ban the department from converting work currently performed by civilians to contractors. The Army has not complied with the Title 10 requirement to inventory its contracts, making it easier for the service to disguise these illegal actions and evade accountability. An AFGE press release detailing the Pentagon's illegal contracting out scheme is included below.

The following is a roundup of news coverage on the cuts that has been generated so far, along with links to the actual articles:


OVER 9,000 TO BE CUT: The Air Force said it plans to eliminate 9,000 civilian jobs in a cost-saving move, with more reductions to come later as part of a militarywide effort to adjust to a new era of defense spending cuts. The actual total could approach 13,500.

AIR FORCE MATERIAL COMMAND: The Air Force is cutting at least 2,100 civilian positions through restructuring and workforce reshaping at the service's largest command, Air Force Materiel Command. It's part of a broader effort to eliminate at least 13,500 civilian positions by Oct. 1, 2012.

AIR FORCE MISSLE BASES: The Air Force is cutting about 140 civilian jobs at the three bases responsible for making sure the nation's land-based nuclear missile force is ready. The cuts represent a portion of the 220 civilian positions being eliminated under the Air Force's Global Strike Command. They include about 60 positions at Wyoming's F.E. Warren Air Force Base, 45 positions at Montana's Malmstrom Air Force Base, and 35 positions at North Dakota's Minot Air Force Base.


ELGIN AFB: AFGE Local 1942 Rocky Tasse says dozens of civilian jobs at the Florida installation are on the chopping block.

DOVER AFB: Forty jobs are being eliminated at the Delaware base. Officials have said they hope to avoid layoffs, but AFGE Local 1709 President Jerry Davies said the job cuts are causing concerns. Updated 11/18: Local President Davies has issued a statement calling on all employees to fight the staffing cuts. 


VANDENBERG AFB: The Air Force is axing nearly 97 civilian jobs at Vandenberg AFB, California, or about 7 percent of staff. The eliminated jobs - 62 by April 1 and 35 by Oct. 1 - mostly come from support positions such as civil engineering, communications, services, as well some command staff functions including public affairs, protocol and legal offices.

MAXWELL AFB: The Air Force will cut 99 civilian jobs at Maxwell AFB and Gunter Annex, Alabama. In addition, 12 employees have left through buyouts or early outs.

ROBINS AFB: 516 civilian jobs at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, will be liminated. Some of the positions already are vacant due to a hiring freeze.



ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL: As many as 300 jobs may be cut at the Army garrison's various commands, AFGE Local 15 President Tom Esparza said. The Joint Munitions Command could lose as many as 130 positions, while the Army Sustainment Command could lose 90 or more. Nine firefighter-paramedic jobs also are on the chopping block. Another report says Rock Island has been ordered to slash 75 from workforce, a 24 percent cut, by end of September. AFGE Local 2110 Vice President Jeff Louch says the cuts will cripple the police department, fire department and everyone else. 

US ARMY-EUROPE: The U.S. Army in Europe will cut more than 1,000 jobs in the next year, including 419 Army civilian jobs, in what's expected to be just the first round of reductions amid stark budgetary times and as two wars wind down. As part of the cuts, three garrison commands will be eliminated and seven garrisons downsized.