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The U.S. Foreign Service

deploys worldwide to protect

and serve America’s people,

interests and values. Fulfilling

this mission—to represent

our country around the

globe—means living in some

dangerous places, including

places with no significant

U.S. military presence.

Members of the Foreign

Service have a long his-

tory of accepting the risks

inherent in doing their jobs,

based in part on a bedrock

belief in the importance of

an American diplomatic and

development presence, even

in the most challenging envi-


The Foreign Service Act

of 1980 recognized this risk

by authorizing the provision

of a danger pay allowance

“on the basis of civil insur-

rection, civil war, terrorism

or wartime conditions which

threaten physical harm or

imminent danger to the

health or wellbeing of the


When the Department of

State announced earlier this

year that it intended to make

Changes to Danger and Hardship Differentials

changes to post danger and

hardship differentials (see 15

State 27856), AFSA reached

out to management seek-

ing to understand fully the

department’s proposal and

its implications.

By law, AFSA was unable

to negotiate the amounts

adjusted or posts affected

because the new regulations

apply to employees govern-


However, AFSA



the right to consult with

management prior to the

implementation of any such

changes. While the depart-

ment made the decision

to implement the changes

despite AFSA’s proposal to

delay implementation until

Jan. 1, 2016, management did

accept many of AFSA’s pro-

posals to mitigate some of

the changes’ adverse effects

(see 15 STATE 48886).

Fair Share Bidding:

Employees already assigned

to a post that drops below

the 15-percent threshold as

a result of the new designa-

tions will receive credit for

their service at the post so

that they will not be consid-

ered fair-share bidders in the

next bidding cycle.

6/8 Eligibility:

If the tour

of duty for a post increases

due to changes under the

new rules, employees will

be allowed to serve the tour

in effect when they were

assigned to that post and

still meet the 6/8 eligibility

requirements for restarting

the period of continuous

domestic assignment.

2014 Bidders:


department will extend fair

share and 6/8 provisions

to all employees assigned

in 2014 who have not yet

arrived at post. They will,

however, be subject to the

updated danger and hardship


The department was

unable to accept AFSA’s

proposal to grandfather

allowances for Foreign

Service employees, because

allowances are a component

of the Department of State

Standardized Regulations

covering all civilian employ-

ees overseas.

Similarly, the department

could not agree to grandfa-

ther employees participating

in the Student Loan Repay-

ment Program, because

benefits are disbursed

pursuant to a 12-month term,

and eligibility of positions is

subject to change on a yearly


The changes to danger

pay and hardship differ-

entials went into effect

on Sept. 6. See 15 STATE

104596 for complete details

on how these changes affect

your post.

AFSA thanks all members

who shared their concerns

regarding the reforms. We

agree that this change has

taken place at a time when it

is more challenging than ever

to carry out our mission. You

may email us at afsa@state. gov or call (202) 647-8160 if

you have any questions on

this issue.


—Maria C. Livingston,

Associate Editor


The children of AFSA members (active-duty or retired) can now apply for college aid at

Graduating high school seniors can apply for academic and art merit awards and a community service award,

each worth $2,500. Current college undergraduates can apply for need-based financial aid scholarships ranging

from $3,000 to $5,000.

The application deadline for the merit award program is Feb. 6, 2016. The deadline for the need-based financial

aid scholarships is March 6, 2016. Not all who submit an application will receive an award.

For more information, contact AFSA Scholarship Director Lori Dec at (202) 944-5504 or