Thursday, October 23, 2014

6 Oct 14 - CPAC Advisors

Question:  CPAC:  We need to have scheduled monthly/yearly screening sessions with our CPAC advisors.  When we have questions, they always tell us to look online, but the online system doesn’t answer all of our questions.  Not all of our forms aren’t being uploaded into eOPF.  

Answer:  CPAC can provide HR Tools training to the workforce.  However, they do not have the capacity to support an annual review by all Garrison employees.

It appears that the question is related to benefits and Army Benefits Center - Civilian (ABC-C) www.abc.army.mil automated self service process. In those cases in which an employee may need to speak with a HR Specialist regarding specific benefits information ABC-C counselors are available Mon-Fri 6:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. CT (877) 276-9287, (785) 240-2222, or DSN 520-2222. The counselors at ABC-C are available to address benefit related questions (Retirement, Health, Life, beneficiary forms, etc.)
 
The local CPAC advisors are also available in which appointments can be made to address HR related information, and advise if specific forms are maintained in eOPF.  Employees should review their eOPF throughout the year and make or request updates as appropriate.  Supervisors should ensure employees have access and encourage review.

6 Oct 14 - CES Classes Offered at FSGA

Question:  CES:  Will we be getting a CES class here any time soon? 

Answer:  None are scheduled at this time.  For FY14 and FY15 DHR/WFD requested Mobile Training Teams (MTTs) to conduct both Basic and Intermediate Courses on site at Ft Stewart.  We have been informed that due to reduction in force at the USA Combined Arms Center, insufficient instructor staff has not allowed them to conduct on-site classes.   We continue to coordinate this effort and hope to soon have one approved for FY15.
Suggestion from group:  Have the CES Courses offered by DCO at the Education Center.

Answer: The DHR/WFD Office has been trying to make contact with the school POC to see if this is an option.  As soon as we have an answer we will let the workforce know.

Update: 24 Oct 14 - DHR/WFD has been in contact with an instructor at Ft Leavenworth who stated that they do not know at this time if a DCO will be offered, but that there are many ideas being considered at this time.

6 Oct 14 - Retirement Seminars

Question:  I just attended the Retirement Seminar (29-30 Sep) and folks should not be told to wait until they are within their 5 year window because by then it will be too late.  Information is needed now to the workforce.  The priority list needs to change.  We are told that unless you are a Priority 1 (Less than 5 years) you cannot attend the seminar.  There were over 14 empty seats in the class.

Answer:  All employees are eligible for participation in the Pre-Retirement Planning Seminars.  The order of priority for selection is: 
PRIORITY 1:  Employees who are eligible and anticipate retiring during the next 2 years (FY 15/16).
PRIORITY 2:  Employees who are eligible and anticipate retiring during the next 5 years (FY 17/20).
PRIORITY 3:  Other employees who are CSRS or FERS enrollees (no time limit).

The Retirement Seminars given during the week of 29 Sep - 3 Oct consisted of 50 quotas purchased.  A total of 21 students were in the first class and 29 students were in the second class so all 50 quotas were filled.  The fact that there were empty seats in the classroom has no bearing on how many students were selected to attend.  The grouping of students by class (and therefore the number of students in the class) is dependent on which retirement system applies to the students.  Included in the two classes were Priority 1, Priority 2, and Priority 3 applicants.  In the early years of offering these classes, there were so many priority 1 and 2 students that it was unlikely priority 3 students would be selected.  Progress has been made so that classes contain fewer Priority 1, more Priority 2, and some Priority 3 students.  When the courses are announced, the priorities for attendees (as show above) are included and required for all nominees.  The criteria stated in the question (Q20) is not used for selection of attendees.

6 Oct 14 - Deployment

Question:  Is the Division scheduled for a deployment? 

Answer:  Not officially.  2 Brigade is getting ready to conduct their re-organization; Division TAC is deploying in about two weeks; HQs may deploy before Christmas, depending on what happens in Afghanistan.

6 Oct 14 - Time off Awards

Questions:  Will there be time off awards this year? 

Answer:  Yes.

6 Oct 14 - VERA / VSIP

Question:  Will there be another round of VERA/VSIP? 

Answer:  Yes. CPAC will send interest letters to employees in over-hire series not later than 31 Oct 14.  Those employees who are offered VERA/VSIP will need to be off the roles by 31 Mar 15. Normal attrition and VERA/VSIP are the main ways to voluntarily reduce the workforce.  If the budget is not fixed next year and sequestration kicks in, in FY16 then we may drop to 775 civilians by FY17.   We currently have over 100 over-hires and approx. 138 vacancies.  Grade and series mis-matches are the reason for so many over-hires.  When the TDA changes from up above, it takes time to re-shape the workforce.

6 Oct 14 - Additional Taskings

Question:  IMCOM related taskings: It is very hard for the small directorates to complete (ARIMS, MICP, IMO, etc).  It would be great if we could designate one person to do  these tasks for the small directorates.

Answer:  There might be some efficiencies to be had there.  I think that everyone has the same issue though.  Everyone is downsizing, but not the tasks and unfortunately it will get worse.