Annual Report 2016 | American Foreign Service Association
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Angie Bryan

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2016 has been a busy year for AFSA’s

Labor-Management team. Since their caseload

includes the MSI and OCP cohort grievances,

I won’t cover those issues in my report. Instead,

this report focuses on the various policy issues

we’ve been working hard to advance.

6/8 Rule Changes:

In the past, people who served overseas but were

unable to complete their tours, even for reasons beyond

their control, ended up having to count that overseas

time as D.C. time when it came to the 6/8 rule. In other

words, someone who served five years in D.C. and then

went overseas, only to have to be medically curtailed

before the end of his or her tour, ended up having that

overseas time added to his or her D.C. time clock. While

AFSA agreed that the overseas time should not neces-

sarily count as overseas time in cases where people

did not complete the majority of their tours, we had

long argued that such time should be considered as

neutral, counting as neither overseas nor D.C. time. This

year CDA agreed and changed the way they calculate

D.C. time in such cases.

Assignment Restrictions:

In 2015 then-State VP Matthew Asada launched a major

effort to compel the Department to formalize in writing

its policies and procedures with regard to assignment

restrictions. Diplomatic Security can place an assign-

ment restriction on an employee’s security clearance

whereby the employee may not serve at certain posts

in order to prevent potential targeting and harassment

by foreign intelligence services as well as to lessen

foreign influence and/or foreign preference security

concerns. After extended discussions and multiple

meetings, Diplomatic Security and AFSA finally agreed

not only on a process, but also on the precise wording

of an entirely new FAM section outlining it. As a result,

dozens of affected employees now have a much better

understanding of the process, as well as a way forward

should they wish to have their situation reviewed.

Bidding Reform:

AFSA has long looked for ways to improve the bidding

process, one of the biggest “pain points” for our mem-

ber. After consultations with and input from AFSA, this

year the Department not only released the promotion

lists before bidding began, but also shortened and sim-

plified the bidding process. AFSA continues to provide

feedback to the Department on how the 2017 season

can be even better.


In November I traveled to Charleston to meet with

CGFS, HR Shared Services, and Charleston-based FS

employees. We discussed what CGFS is doing to reduce

their backlog, learned about common mistakes that

get employees into trouble and how to prevent them,

and clarified some important issues with regard to the

Department’s shared leave programs.