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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

|

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2017

55

AFSA NEWS

Voting

Ballots will be distributed

on or about April 17, 2017,

to each individual who is a

regular AFSA member as of

March 17, 2017. Candidates

or their representatives may

observe the ballot distribu-

tion process if they so desire.

Each member may cast one

vote for president, secretary

and treasurer, as well as one

vote for a constituency vice

president and each represen-

tative position in the mem-

ber’s constituency.

Regular members may

cast their votes for candi-

dates listed on the official

ballot, or by writing in the

name(s) of member(s) eli-

gible as of March 17, 2017, or

by doing both. To be valid, a

ballot must be received by 8

a.m. on June 8, 2017, either

(i) at the address indicated

on the envelope accompany-

ing the ballot or (ii) by online

vote. More detailed balloting

instructions will accompany

the ballots.

Vote Counting and

Announcement of

Results

On or about June 8, 2017,

the Elections Committee will

oversee the ballot tabula-

tion and declare elected

the candidate receiving the

greatest number of votes for

each position. Candidates or

their representatives may be

present during the tally and

may challenge the validity

of any vote or the eligibility

of any voter. The commit-

tee will inform candidates

individually of the election

AMore In-Depth Look at the New MSI Process

A State Department cable, released on De

c. 7,

announced the new process

for awarding Meritorious

Service Increase(s).

The three-year pilot

program is the result of

formal negotiations initiated

by the State Department

with AFSA, during which we

considered the feedback

many members submitted

in September.

In addition to the details

outlined in the cable, we’d

like to highlight for our

members a few successes

from the negotiations:

First and foremost, the

department will no longer be

able to claim that it has the

right to make unilateral deci-

sions not to pay MSIs. The

precepts make crystal clear

that the department must

pay MSIs at the percentage

negotiated with AFSA.

We successfully included

a provision in the new MSI

system stating that, in the

event of a severe budget

crisis, the department must

come back to AFSA and

renegotiate any proposed

decrease in the percentage

of awards.

If AFSA and the depart-

ment cannot agree on a new

percentage for that specific

year, then the matter will

be resolved by the Foreign

Service Impasse Disputes

Panel.

Bidding privileges remain

intact for the top group of

employees who are recom-

mended but not reached for

promotion. That guarantee

is now enshrined in the new

agreement.

The new system is estab-

lished as a pilot program

with the department and

AFSA working together to

make improvements to the

system and fix any unin-

tended negative conse-

quences.

This provision was

important to AFSA leader-

ship because we recognize

that any wholesale change

to a system affecting the

entire Foreign Service will

assuredly present a range of

challenges, not all of which

we can possibly anticipate.

Throughout the negotia-

tions, one of AFSA’s goals

was to ensure the integrity

of the rank order process

used by the promotion

boards. We are delighted to

report that we achieved this

goal.

MSIs will be divided

between officers and spe-

cialists at roughly the same

ratio found within the For-

eign Service. For the most

part, specialists will review

specialist nominations and

officers will review officer

nominations.

People temporarily

removed for low-rankings

and/or discipline cases will

be allowed to receive ret-

roactive MSIs if their cases

are successfully overturned,

even years down the road.

If you are interested

in more comprehensive

details, we encourage you to

read the new MSI Precepts

once they are published.

n

—Angie Bryan,

State Vice President

Call for Nominationst

Continued from page 54

results by the swiftest pos-

sible means and will publish

the names of all elected can-

didates in the next issue of

The Foreign Service Journal

.

The elected candidates will

take office on July 15, 2017,

as per the bylaws.

The Committee on Elec-

tions and supporting staff

members may be reached at

election@afsa.org

.

n

—The Committee on

Elections