Job Opportunities at AFSA

 

The American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) is recruiting for two positions in its Office of Labor Management (LM). The first position is the Labor Management Counselor, who has joint policy and member support responsibilities. The second is position is the Labor Management Assistant, who is designed to provide direct member assistance.

The LM office is responsible for supporting the union’s elected officers as they negotiate the terms and conditions of employment with agency management, advising them on the adoption or revision of federal law and regulation related to the US Foreign Service, assisting members who experience difficulties with representatives of Management on a wide range of personnel and administrative issues, and, finally, offering guidance and advice to members who elect to file grievances (formal complaints) against the Department for perceived violations of law or regulation.

AFSA’s LM office is located in the Department of State (HST Room 1251). It is headed by AFSA’s General Counsel and is currently comprised of seven other professional members (four attorneys, a senior labor management advisor, an executive assistant, and an intern).


Position Title:
Hours:
Salary:
Location:
Reports to:

Labor Management Counselor
Full-time (six month probationary period)
TBD
Labor Management Office, Room 1251, State Department
General Counsel and works closely with the State Vice President and other Agency Vice Presidents (USAID, FCS, FAS)

Job Purpose

This position will assist American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) officials in negotiating and advocating on behalf of AFSA-advocated terms of employment and personnel policies and practices. It is also responsible for assisting with the enforcement of the terms of those agreed to with Management. The incumbent will also provide labor management assistance to AFSA members who encounter difficulties in addressing personal professional issues with Agency Management, and provide advice to AFSA officials on the overall management of such questions.

Key Job Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Policy Negotiation and Collective Bargaining - Supports the AFSA Vice Presidents in negotiations on a wide variety of labor-management issues and offers recommendations concerning AFSA discussions with Management. Analyzes proposed regulatory changes and identifies options for AFSA responses to same. Evaluates historical and background information relevant to the adoption of AFSA policy initiatives, in order to provide recommendations regarding the adoption of new or revised regulations, allowances and practices.
  2. Interaction – Interacts with AFSA Agency Vice Presidents, AFSA Board members and other AFSA Staff members providing information and/or professional advice as needed.
  3. AFSA Board and Officer Support - As required, attend policy meetings, drafts option and position papers, talking points, letters, etc., for AFSA President, Vice Presidents and the Governing Board.
  4. Member Support – Collaborates with AFSA Senior Labor-Management Adviser in helping to resolve members' problems with agency administrative offices, seeking assistance from AFSA Labor Management attorneys when necessary. Manages problems informally when possible through liaison with established contacts. Drafts letters and memoranda for signature by AFSA Officers; provides occasional guidance to members on grievances.
  5. Regulations, Laws and Legislative Issues - responds to member inquiries on State Department, Federal and other Foreign Affairs Agency regulations, seeking assistance from other staff members when necessary. Maintains a sound understanding of all personnel-related changes in the Foreign Service Act as well as with evolving Departmental and other relevant Federal regulations. Where interpretation of regulations is at issue, discusses with Department officials and other informed sources in order to provide reliable advice to members and AFSA officials. Consults with the AFSA Advocacy Director and AFSA Labor Management attorneys on the implications of pending or new legislation for Foreign Service members.

Key Technical Skills and Knowledge

The ideal candidate will have both overseas Foreign Service and domestic State Department experience complemented by an excellent command of Foreign Service customs, rules, and regulations. State Department experience in Human Resources (HR), especially Career Development and Assignments (HR/CDA), is preferred, but other relevant HR-background such as membership on a Promotion or Performance Standards Board would also be useful. The candidate will have an ability to assimilate complex regulations and provide advice on their interpretation and application. S/he will have excellent interpersonal skills and will be as comfortable interacting with members of the Agency Management staff as well as in giving advice to AFSA members on the wide range of problems that may affect their day-to-day activities and careers. The individual will need to be eligible to receive a Public Trust clearance in order to obtain a State Department badge and computer log-on.

Application: Please send letter and resume to jobs@afsa.org and specify “Labor Management Counselor.” Applications are due by Wednesday, August 20.


Position Title:
Hours:
Salary:
Location:
Reports to:

Labor Management Assistant
Full-time (six month probationary period)
TBD
Labor Management Office, Room 1251, State Department
General Counsel and works closely with the State and other Agency Vice Presidents (USAID, FCS, FAS)

Job Purpose

This position is part of the regular complement of the American Foreign Service Association’s labor management (LM) staff. The person will advise and provide labor management assistance to AFSA members encountering difficulties in addressing their issues with agency management. The person will also assist AFSA officials in negotiating, enforcing, and advocating for terms of employment and personnel policies and practices.

Key Job Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Intake Action Coordinator: Receives all incoming requests for member assistance, records nature of request, seeks clarification from member as needed, and routes request to designated action attorney or other LM staff member. Records cases in Avectra database.
  2. Assistance to LM staff: Helps prepare standard replies to members for most commonly received questions and updates such replies as needed, with assistance from LM staff, on an ongoing basis. Responds directly to members on behalf of LM on matters as authorized by the General Counsel. Offers advice to LM staff based on experience and on-job accumulated knowledge for handling certain member issues. Executes other similar duties as assigned.
  3. Research: Under the general supervision of General Counsel, researches requests for information and background relevant to ongoing cases from LM attorneys/staff. Once familiar with the basic corpus of legal and regulatory information, will be responsible for providing LM attorneys/staff relevant and current information on which they can fully rely. Maintains and searches LM electronic library of outgoing correspondence and documentation in support of the management of a member problem or formal complaint (grievance).
  4. Back-up: Serves as back-up to Senior Labor Management Advisor and Counselor in the handling and reply of the full range of member issues and problems. Serves as back-up to Executive Assistant.

Key Technical Skills and Knowledge:

Professional experience in a number of different areas could be relevant to candidacy for this position. Some examples of such experience might include, but are not limited to, Legislative Correspondent in a Congressional Office, Paralegal, Civil Service Management Assistant, Office Manager, Customer Service Representative. Beyond the issue of relevant experience there are also certain kinds of professional traits which are needed or highly desirable for this position.

The ability to work well and easily with others is indispensable. LM functions on a collegial basis with each staff member expected to carry out his/her responsibilities in an efficient and professional manner. In addition the incumbent of this position will have extensive written, and sometimes oral, interaction with AFSA members who are all entitled to a respectful hearing and a prompt and accurate reply.

Highly desirable would be some familiarity with US federal law and regulation, especially, if possible, how they relate to the operation of the State Department or other USG agencies. Personal knowledge of or experience with the US Foreign Service would be extremely useful although this is not a requirement.

As the position entails responsibility for carrying out focused research under only loose supervision, relevant research background and/or a proven ability to perform well without detailed oversight would both be major assets. The individual will need to be eligible to receive a Public Trust clearance in order to obtain a State Department badge and computer log-on.

Application: Please send letter and resume to jobs@afsa.org and specify “Labor Management Assistant.” Applications are due by Wednesday, August 20.

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