Annual Report 2014 | American Foreign Service Association
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new case-tracking module as part of the enhanced membership

customer relationships database. This allows AFSA’s general coun-

sel to evaluate and track the numbers and types of cases and issues

the LM staff is handling.

AFSA also created a new position (labor management assis-

tant) to perform case intake and help keep track of all of the cases,

and welcomed Jason Snyder to the position in 2014. In addition,

Colleen Fallon-Lenaghan rejoined the LM office as the labor man-

agement counselor. She was previously a staff attorney with AFSA

from 1992 to 1998, and we are delighted to have her back.

In 2014, the LM staff represented members in 537 cases. Griev-

ances (e.g., EERs, discipline cases, denial of tenure and low rank-

ings) made up the largest category of cases, followed by discipline

cases (i.e., proposals for separation for cause, suspensions without

pay, letters of reprimand), Diplomatic Security and OIG investiga-

tions and security clearance cases (e.g., warning letters, probation

letters, suspensions, revocation and denial of clearances cases). A

breakdown of case types can be seen in the chart above.

Foreign Service officers represented 44 percent of cases, spe-

cialists represented 51 percent, and associate members, spouses

and retirees made up the remaining 5 percent, as seen on “Client

Types” chart on page 19. Diplomatic Security agents accounted for

the largest percentage of total cases (21 percent).

The majority of cases involved FS-4s (36 percent), followed by

FS-3s (22 percent) and FS-2s (16 percent). The LM staff also filed

five implementation disputes alleging that the Department of State

violated the parties’ collective bargaining agreements (see State

VP report for more) and a cohort grievance relating to Overseas

Comparability Pay.

In addition to representing employees in grievances and disci-

pline cases, the LM staff—primarily Labor Management Specialist

James Yorke—assisted employees with issues relating to assign-

ments, allowances, medical clearances, per diem and salary or

annuity overpayment. The staff also assisted more than a dozen

employees—mostly Asian-Americans—with issues relating to DS

assignment preclusions and restrictions.

In several noteworthy Grievance Board cases this year, AFSA

successfully challenged the Department of State’s lengthy delays

in proposing disciplinary action against several employees and its

efforts to discipline employees for allegedly creating the appear-

ance of prostitution. In addition, in one case, the Grievance Board

recommended that the Secretary of State immediately tenure an

employee since the agency had committed numerous violations

relating to the employee’s EERs and tenure boards.

The LM staff also provided counsel to a number of foreign-

born spouses of Foreign Service employees who were denied a

security clearance (or told they would be denied, and then asked

if they wanted to withdraw their application) because they had

only recently become U.S. citizens or because they had foreign

relatives. In one of these cases, AFSA successfully represented

the Asian-American spouse of an AFSA member before the Se-

curity Appeals Panel, which overturned an initial security clear-

ance denial. After the individual was granted a clearance, he

joined the State Department as a Foreign Service specialist. In

other cases, nine employees AFSA assisted in 2014 had their se-

curity clearance reinstated.

l

Types of Case Assistance

Discipline

68 / 12.66%

Grievance

229 / 42.64%

Diplomatic Security

8 / 1.49%

Security Incident

9 / 1.68%

Labor Management

10 / 1.86%

Other

46 / 8.57%

Office of Civil Rights

48 / 8.94%

Security Clearance

52 / 9.68%

Investigation

67 / 12.48%

Committee on Elections:

(from left) Mort Dworken, Jenna Bucha

Jones, Amb. Robert “Bill” Farrand, Andrea Strano, Russell Knight.

(Not pictured: Ian Houston, Sharon Papp, Janet Hedrick.)