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52

JANUARY FEBRUARY 2015

|

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

AFSA NEWS

AFSA’s Shower Diplomacy

On Oct. 8 AFSA and the State

Department’s Bureaus of

Administration and Human

Resources celebrated the

opening of two new shower

rooms in State Annex 3, on

Virginia Avenue N.W.

Deputy Assistant Sec-

retary for Operations Keith

Miller, Deputy Assistant Sec-

retary for Human Resources

Marcia Bernicat, Division

Chief of the Bureau of

Human Resources Work Life

Division Judy Ikels and AFSA

State Vice President Matthew

Asada each spoke briefly

on the origins of the shower

project and the importance

of employee wellness initia-

tives.

They were joined at the

ceremony by Project Man-

ager Matthew Lindstrom of

the OŸce of Real Property

Management.

The idea for an SA-3

shower originated more

than two years ago during

an after-work conversa-

tion between Asada and

Adam Bodner, director of

the OŸce of Real Property

Management at Main State’s

own shower facilities. They

questioned whether it would

be possible to get a similar

facility in SA-3 to support the

department’s wellness initia-

tives and encourage exercise

to, from or at the workplace.

The SA-3 shower project

is an excellent example of

AFSA’s commitment to mak-

ing the department one of

the premier employers within

the federal government.

AFSA is a strong sup-

porter of this and other

department wellness initia-

tives and included a quality

of work/life goal in its 2013-

2015 Strategic Plan (

www.bit

.

ly/AFSAplan).

AFSA has called on the

department to ensure that

Deputy Assistant Secretary Keith Miller, Deputy Assistant Secretary Marcia

Bernicat, Division Chief Judy Ikels, AFSA State Vice President Matthew

Asada and Project Manager Matthew Lindstrom inaugurating the new SA-3

shower facility.

AFSA/DANIELTHWAITES

AFSA President and State VP Present

Midterm Review at FSI

On Oct. 22, AFSA President

Robert Silverman and State

VP Matthew Asada hosted a

“Midterm Review” lunch at

the Foreign Service Institute.

As they had done in a sim-

ilar outreach event at AFSA

headquarters in August, the

AFSA oŸcials presented an

overview of the association’s

advocacy, engagement and

communication e“orts to

active-duty State members

currently at FSI.

They highlighted progress

made on AFSA’s 2013-2015

strategic plan and FSI-

specific successes, such as

the launch of the Capitol

BikeShare station (see Sep-

tember 2014 AFSA News).

During the question-and-

answer session that followed,

members raised concerns on

FSI training, child care and IT

skills-incentive pay.

Silverman and Asada

encouraged members to get

involved with their union and

professional association by

joining an AFSA committee,

becoming a post representa-

tive, or standing for election.

A video of the event is avail-

able at

www.afsa.org/video.

AFSA held another

outreach meeting on Nov.

25 at Main State, and has

scheduled a similar event

on Jan. 20 with active-duty

Diplomatic Security special-

ists at Diplomatic Security

headquarters (SA-20).

n

—Lindsey Botts,

Labor Management

Executive Assistant

there is at least one free

shower facility in every

annex. SA-3’s new shower

facility is the latest down

payment on that pledge and

joins 12 other department

annexes with free showers.

The ceremony was the

first in a series of AFSA

events supporting the

department’s Work-Life

Wellness Month. AFSA also

organized an after-work run

and a panel discussion on

managing after-hours email

(see p. 50).

AFSA is also contributing

to the department’s response

to the White House’s June

23 memo

(www.bit.ly/

WorkLifememo) on improv-

ing work-life wellness across

the federal government.

n

—Daniel Thwaites,

Labor Management Intern