RIF rights, and elaborating on special rates
- By Milt x_Zall
- Jan 02, 2002
A Reader Writes:
I am writing on behalf of a friend. Where can we get information on
his rights as a Non-Appropriated Fund Instrumentality program employee at
a Coast Guard base? He has 13 years of service. He is being reduced in force
and would like to know what his rights are.
There are many variables that may affect the range of an employee's
eligibility for reduction in force (RIF) rights.
Office of Personnel Management's RIF regulations must give effect to
four factors in releasing employees:
1. Tenure of employment (e.g., type of appointment).
2. Veterans preference.
3. Length of service.
4. Performance ratings.
The law does not assign any relative weight to the four factors, or
require that the factors be followed in any particular order.
An agency is required to use RIF procedures when an employee is faced
with separation or downgrading for a reason such as reorganization, lack
of work, shortage of funds, insufficient personnel ceiling, or the exercise
of certain re-employment or restoration rights.
A furlough of more than 30 calendar days, or of more than 22 discontinuous
workdays, is also a RIF action. (A furlough of 30 or fewer calendar days,
or of 22 or fewer discontinuous workdays, is an adverse action.)
For more information, go to http://www.fedquest.com/opmrefs/tb6a.htm
A Reader Comments:
Your brief mention of special rates was so limited that it was meaningless
["Special rates not so special, and firing feds"].
At present, the management in most federal agencies is not interested
in recommending higher special rates for any job category. Their payroll
budgets cannot accommodate this type of pay increase and would only force
them to make reductions in other staff.
The Office of Personnel Management conducted a survey of engineering
positions in 2000 and then postponed issuance of a survey report to December
2001. The anticipated publication of this survey was again postponed last
December. OPM likely will not publish the survey now as the data is "out
The OPM surveyor has made herself unavailable to queries on the status
of this survey. If published, the survey would likely demonstrate a huge
gap in "pay comparability" to equivalent engineering positions in private
but comparable large businesses. It also would divulge that most federal
agencies could no longer attract new engineers due to the inadequate salaries.
Engineering within the federal government needs a quick and drastic
boost. There is no semblance of technical control over most large contracts
and acquisitions in either the military or civilian sectors of the federal
government. Most contracting officers just give away the store with no concerns
about cost savings. The attitude is usually to spend whatever the budget
Zall is a retired federal employee who since 1987 has written the Bureaucratus
column for Federal Computer Week. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.