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Post Rep FAQs
What are the responsibilities of an AFSA post representative?
- Act as the AFSA point of initial contact for post members experiencing difficulties with management.
- Distribute information of general interest that AFSA headquarters sends to post.
- Forward to AFSA any proposals, complaints or criticisms originating with members at post.
- Represent AFSA members in dealing with post management on matters of general interest.
- Act as the initial AFSA point of contact for employees contacted by the Bureau of Diplomatic Security or the Office of the Inspector General, directing employees to the guidance on our Web site about such interviews and encouraging members to contact one of AFSA’s attorneys in Washington prior to the interview.
- Maintain current membership lists and periodically forward them to AFSA headquarters.
- Seek a successor before the end of your tour.
It sounds like a lot of responsibility. How will I be trained and supported?
- When you assume your duties, we will send you information to get you started.
- Our professional staff in Washington will be ready to answer any questions you may have, either by phone or e-mail.
- You are not expected to be an expert on human resources or other issues!
How are post reps selected?
- At posts with no post rep: any AFSA member serving there may issue a call for elections.
- At small posts with a post rep: the outgoing rep may ask another member to take his/her place.
- At larger posts with a post rep: the outgoing rep should call a meeting to elect a replacement. Nominations may be submitted by letter, phone or e-mail. Depending on circumstances, nominations may be received and elections held at the same meeting, or nominations and debate can take place at one meeting, with the election conducted at another. If the election is contested, voting may be handled via secret ballot, but a show of hands is also acceptable.
- At very large posts without a post rep: members may need more than one representative. Ideally, reps would represent different agencies.
How do I become a post rep?
- First verify that there is no representative at your post by going to our post rep web page.
- Email us at email@example.com stating that you would like to volunteer as post rep.
- We will send you a list of members at post. Send an email to those members indicating your interest and issuing a call for elections (see above).
- If there are no other members at post interested or able to serve, complete the one-page post rep volunteer form on our website.
- Return completed form via email and we will begin the certification process.
- You will receive your post rep certificate in the mail.
How do I benefit from being a post rep?
- Although post reps cannot specify their service as an AFSA post rep in their Employee Evaluation Reports, it is acceptable to indicate that you assisted colleagues at post with housing issues, voucher problems or other personnel issues. Additionally, Post reps have the added advantage of firsthand knowledge of AFSA issues, polling members at post, and providing valuable feedback. And, of course, there is the satisfaction of knowing that you are individually helping your colleagues and are an integral part of a larger organization that supports the Foreign Service!
How do I know if my post already has a post rep?
I noticed an error on your post rep list. What do I do?
- Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the update and we will take care of it.
Do I really need to hold an election if I’m the only volunteer?
- While holding an election is ideal, if no one else at post has shown interest then you do not need to hold an election.
How does my post elect a post rep?
- Ideally, the current post rep would hold an election for a successor or transfer their responsibilities to a successor. In the event that there is no post rep, the person volunteering can email us at email@example.com for a list of members at post then email them to ask if there are other volunteers.
Can a post have more than one post rep?
- Yes. It is possible to have more than one post rep, particular at large posts or geographically spread-out posts. Post reps may be selected from different agencies to lessen the workload. At smaller posts it is preferable to have a single post representative.
I’m only going to be here at post for another few months. Is it too late to be post rep?
- No. A few months are more than enough time to begin your post rep responsibilities and serve your fellow AFSA members. In addition, you can help identify another post rep before you leave, ensuring that the position is occupied.
Do you have to be tenured in order to be post rep?
- No. Although being a tenured officer is preferable, it is not required. Familiarity with Foreign Service life, agency regulations and AFSA issues gives post reps valuable insight that may be helpful in assisting their colleagues at post.
Are there any requirements to be post rep?
- Post reps must be AFSA members in good standing and members of the bargaining unit, made up of Foreign Service employees of the Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, Foreign Agricultural Service, Foreign Commercial Service, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and the Broadcasting Board of Governors.
- Post reps cannot be confidential employees or management employees; nor can they be engaged in personnel work (other than in a clerical capacity). Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need further information.
If I host a meeting, can I be reimbursed for any expenses incurred (e.g. light snacks, beverages)?
- Yes, Post reps can be reimbursed up to $100 per year depending on the size of the post. Please contact email@example.com for additional details.
What is the AFSA post Representative of the Year Award? What does it entail?
- AFSA’s Post Rep of the Year award is awarded to the individual who most effectively fulfilled several important functions at overseas posts; demonstrated high visibility and efficiency; pursued vigorous and constructive relations with post management; and acted as an effective conduit of information between AFSA headquarters and Foreign Service employees as post. The award is presented with a $1,000 cash prize.