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Posted: June 14, 2018 3:53 p.m.
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Garrison Commander discusses RIF

Steve Hart/

Colonel Jason Wolter, garrison commander, Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield assembled the Fort Stewart civilian workforce on June 7 and their Hunter Army Airfield counterparts on June 8 for Town Hall Meetings to inform them on the latest developments on the installation’s mandate to part with personnel in over hire positions.

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Colonel Jason Wolter, garrison commander, Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield assembled the Fort Stewart civilian workforce on June 7 and their Hunter Army Airfield counterparts on June 8 for Town Hall meetings to inform them on the latest developments on the installation’s mandate to part with personnel in overhire positions.

Wolter conducted his initial Town Hall meeting last March when he first informed the workforce that the fiscal year 2019 tables of distribution and allowances will abolish a number of positions and that employees who were slotted in those positions would be labeled “overhires.”  He stated on Oct. 1, employees in over hire positions would be terminated with, potentially, a formal Reduction in Force order.  In that Town Hall meeting, Wolter emphasized that the plan to avoid employees being terminated was using retirements, including those being accelerated by offering Voluntary Early Retirement Authority/Voluntary Separation Incentive Payments enticement packages, and others taking vacant positions around the Army via the IMCOM Placement Assistance Tool.  

Earlier this year, Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield conducted a Mock RIF as a tool to predict which employees may be affected by a RIF.  The intent was to identify those “at risk” employees as early as possible so they can plan their careers, including updating their resumes to apply for vacant positions that would not be affected Wolter said.  The RIF identified 49 employees vulnerable.  Those employees received Early Priority Placement Program letters, which gives them hiring preference should the employees elect to apply for other civil service positions for which they are qualified. 

   “Our challenge is balancing America’s tax paying dollars to readiness,” Wolter said.  “This keeps me up at night:  ensuring the quality of care and support you provide our military Families isn’t adversely affected.” 

  To reduce the impact of our individual team members, over the past 12 months, we have reduced 76 over hires by voluntary means, Wolter said.   He expressed regret that 32 employees remain as over hires.  Consequently, the Assistant Secretary for Manpower and Reserve Affairs and the Army Office, Chief Legislative Liaison is now notifying Congress that RIF packets will have to be sent.  

 The RIF will be conducted June 25.  The Civilian Personnel Assistance Center will issue formal RIF notices not later than July 31st to those being impacted by the RIF. 

 "Is it safe to assume that if an employee did not receive notification from the Mock RIF, he/she is safe,” asked an employee in attendance.

   The response was “not necessarily,” based on the fact the Mock RIF was just a tool to  help identify people who may be affected.  

“Our goal remains to find a position for current employees who want to continue to work,” Wolter said.  “We will continue to “slot” people based upon position opportunities (retirements, reassignments, etc.) and IPAT movements.”  This could reduce the number of personnel affected.  

Wolter pledged to keep the workforce updated of any changes.

Employees who have questions or need assistance, they should consult their first line supervisor or Bill Jeffers at 767-2133.



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