FROM THE RETIREE VICE PRESIDENT
Ambassador (ret.) Thomas Boyatt
AFSA highly values our retiree members who hail from all six
foreign affairs agencies, have had careers spanning decades
representing American interests abroad, and whose collective
knowledge and experience are invaluable assets to today’s
At our August meeting, theGoverning Board approved
al to utilize its authorities under the Foreign Service Act of 1980 to
nominate and approve members of the Foreign Service Labor Rela-
tions Board and the Foreign Service Grievance Board. The FSLRB was
created by the Act to administer the labor-management relations
program for Foreign Service employees. The FSGB handles grievances
by Foreign Service employees.
The nominations will come from AFSA’s retired constituency because
active-duty personnel are prohibited from such service. We intend to
nominate retired officers with overseas, foreign policy and AFSA ex-
perience, bringing a broader view to these adjudicatory bodies, while
serving AFSA’s goals of building a stronger Foreign Service, achieving
better outcomes for Foreign Service personnel and garnering enhanced
respect for the Foreign Service Act.
In October, retired Career Ambassador and AFSA stalwart Hank Cohen
was nominated by AFSA, with the Department of State’s concurrence,
to be one of three members of the FSLRB, and his appointment was
confirmed shortly thereafter. In 2016, some of the terms on the FSGB
will lapse, and we will pursue our policy of nominating interested
retired AFSA members with overseas, foreign policy and AFSA experi-
ence for these positions.
I should point out that positions on the ad-
judicatory bodies under the Foreign Service
Act are not full-time. However, the legisla-
tion does mandate that their members are
well compensated on a daily basis—at what
was then the GS-18, now the highest Senior
Executive Service, rate—as they participate in
the adjudication of cases. This arrangement is
ideal for retired colleagues who pursue a di-
verse portfolio of activities in retirement. It is
a win-win-win-win situation for the individual
retiree member, for AFSA, for the FSGB and for
the Foreign Service.
Meanwhile, we have assisted many of you
with the usual problems associated with a
complicated retirement system and our evolv-
ing health insurance situation. This year we
have faced additional challenges in dealing
with special situations that have arisen.
The most important of these is the Office of
Personnel Management’s response to a major
data breach potentially affecting 22 million
current and former government employees.
OPM has since provided a helpful protection
package including credit monitoring, liability
insurance and other elements. AFSA continues
to monitor developments.