RDECOM chief of staff discusses issues at town hall meeting
April 8, 2011
- ***UPDATE*** The President has signed a CRA to keep the government funded through April 15
- Leadership provides update to staff on current events, terminology and Army guidance
- RDECOM reiterates convenant with employees and mission to empower, unburden and protect the Warfighter
The President has signed a Continuing Resolution that will keep the Government running through Friday, April 15, 2011. As a result, agencies have been instructed to continue their normal operations. Specifically, employees should report to work on their next scheduled work day at their normal arrival time. For information, visit http://www.opm.gov
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. -- The U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command leadership met with employees for a town hall meeting Friday, April 8.
Chief of Staff Col. Kirk Benson spoke with about 90 employees in person and 78 more via a teleconference for the 8:30 a.m. meeting.
The Chief provided a snapshot of what the command currently knows, the terminology surrounding a potential furlough, existing Army guidance and how it may affect the RDECOM workforce.
"This is the best information we have at the moment, and it is changing," Benson said.
Benson explained the current situation and possible road ahead.
"There is currently no approved FY11 budget," he said. "The Continuing Resolution Authority expires at midnight tonight. If another CRA or budget is not passed, RDECOM must execute an orderly reduction of operations."
Benson said Soldiers would be exempt from furlough and would report for duty; however, without appropriations, a Soldier's pay may be interrupted.
A furlough places employees in a temporary non-duty, non-pay status because of lack of work, funds, or other non-disciplinary reasons. In the case of a government shutdown due to appropriations, commanders would identify what missions must continue.
Benson told the town hall attendees that very few employees would be exempted from a furlough should funding expire.
He said employees would receive a formal notification of their status from their supervisors if a shutdown should occur.
Pointing out key messages Benson said, "There is no paid leave or leave granted during a furlough."
He directed employees to the Office of Personnel Management web site (see related links) for information on the effects on benefits and programs during a nonpay status.
"Communication with our military and civilian workforce is essential," Benson said. "RDECOM will maintain an open dialogue with employees through all venues."
If a furlough were to occur, the command may communicate updates through the official Facebook page (see related links).
"The RDECOM team will deal with this issue as we handle any issue - with elegance, honor, dignity and respect," Benson said.