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JUNE 2016




AFSAWins MSI Dispute

AFSA is pleased to announce

that, on April 20, the Foreign

Service Labor Relations

Board upheld the decision of

the Foreign Service Griev-

ance Board in the imple-

mentation dispute AFSA

filed regarding the State

Department’s nonpayment

of 2013 Meritorious Service


This dispute, which has

been ongoing since 2014,

originated in the State

Department’s failure to

award the monetary portion

of the MSIs to 554 State

Foreign Service employees

who were recommended for

MSIs by the 2013 Selection


The FSLRB decision

orders the department to

make those 2013 MSI pay-

ments retroactively, with


A Long Process

AFSA first filed an imple-

mentation dispute with the

State Department in May

2014; it was denied the fol-

lowing month. Subsequently,

AFSA filed an appeal with the

FSGB, and the appeal was

decided in AFSA’s favor in

September 2015.

The department filed

exceptions (i.e., an appeal) to

the FSLRB in October 2015,

and AFSA responded to those

exceptions in a 35-page brief

outlining our position. On

April 20, the FSLRB denied

the department’s exceptions,

with no further appeals avail-


For a full account of the

background to this impor-

tant issue, see AFSA General

Counsel Sharon Papp’s

article in the December 2015 AFSA News.

The FSLRB decision

makes clear that the depart-

ment is legally required to

pay 554 employees their

2013 MSIs—including inter-

est. The mechanism for

delivering the payments has

yet to be confirmed.

“I would like to recognize

the tireless efforts not only of

the 2013-2015 AFSA Govern-

ing Board and its leadership,”

says AFSA State VP Angie

Bryan, “but also of AFSA

General Counsel Sharon

Papp, AFSA attorney Raeka

Safai and their colleagues

James Yorke, Zlatana Badrich

and Lindsey Botts. A special

thank you as well goes to

AFSA Retiree VP Ambassador

(ret.) Tom Boyatt, who pro-

vided valuable input as they

prepared their case.”

Two More Cases

In 2014 and 2015, the

department paid MSIs to

only five percent of employ-

ees recommended by the

Selection Boards, even

though AFSA’s collective

bargaining agreement with

the department provides for

up to 10 percent.

AFSA has filed implemen-

tation disputes in both of

those cases. The 2014 MSI

case is currently pending

with the FSGB, and AFSA

recently filed an appeal with

the FSGB regarding the

department’s denial of the

2015 MSI case.

We will keep you updated

on those decisions as soon

as they are known.


—Gemma Dvorak,

Associate Editor

Ambassador (ret.) Tom Boyatt, General Counsel Sharon Papp and Staff

Attorney Raeka Safai.


Thank You,Wisconsin!

The Badger State delivered

a victory for Foreign Service

members earlier this year

when Assembly Bill 370 became Act 323.

AFSA is proud to have

endorsed this member-

driven initiative to expand

some of the exceptions relat-

ing to vehicle registration

renewals and driver license

renewals to apply to active-

duty Foreign Service mem-

bers. These exceptions are

currently made for active-

duty military personnel.

AFSA thanks the bill’s

author, State Representa- tive Scott Krug, who worke


closely with his constituent,

AFSA member Brian Riese,

to make this happen.

If you have a similar issue

in your state of residence

and feel ready to advocate

for the Foreign Service, send

us an email at advocacy@ with the subject line

“State Issues.”