To relay information and allow a platform for employees to ask questions, Anniston Army Depot commander hosted his quarterly town hall meeting on Nov. 18 in the installation’s training building.
Several members of his staff, following social distancing protocols, were on site while employees were able to watch the live broadcast from their worksites over LAN or IPTV.
”Reflecting on the Army’s top line messages, people, modernization and readiness continue to be our focus,” said Col. Marvin Walker, depot commander. “People are our greatest asset and my priority is the safety and well-being of our workforce.”
He reemphasized the importance of the depot’s mission and readiness. “The work that you do is important in providing for and equipping our warfighters. As we move into the holidays, be safe and remain vigilant,” he added.
Subject matter experts shared information on COVID-19, paid parental leave, FY21 GAP metrics, workload and overtime, safety, IMCOM, CHIP and Project Inclusion.
The COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. Employees were reminded of continued actions to take to prevent the spread of germs and protect themselves and their families.
“We’ve been doing a good job following the guidelines,” said Phil Trued, chief of staff. “Continue to follow the rules and be vigilant, at work and home.” He thanked the Depot Operations’ teammates who are responsible for contact tracing, the Directorate of Public Works staff for disinfecting areas. With an uptick in cases, he asked the workforce to be mindful of social gatherings during the holidays and the upcoming flu season. For employees who return to work after testing positive for the virus, you must clear through the DEAR Clinic before going to your worksite.
Paid Parental Leave
The Federal Employee Paid Leave Act allows workers access to up to 12 weeks of paid time off for the birth, adoption or placement of a new child that occurred on or after Oct. 1, 2020. According to Abby Quinn, director of Resource Management, it does not double the existing entitlement of 12 weeks of leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act or FMLA.
Workload and overtime
The projection for direct labor hours look optimistic for FY21 and FY22. “Last year’s workload, basically equates to this year,” said Todd Dishman, director of Production Management. “There are some concerning areas, but we are where we would expect to be. Regarding overtime, we are only working on an as needed basis, if required to accomplish the mission. It will be short term if there are extenuating circumstances.”
The top three safety trends are struck by, overexertion/strains and slip, trip and falls. While performing the mission, be aware of your surroundings. “Safety is everyone’s responsibility,” said Rob Cunningham, acting safety director. Using portable headphones, earphones, and other listening devises, to include hands-free cellular, is prohibited. See Commander’s Policy Statement #36 for additional information.
The Civilian Harassment Intervention Program is designed to address all types of harassment. Stated by the CHIP coordinator Patricia Boothe, “the goal is to identify bad behavior and address it in a quick manner that has a lasting impact for change.”
Efforts are underway to transfer real property accountability and base operation functions to the U.S. Army Installation Management Command. The target date is April 2021. This could include the directorates of Public Works; Emergency Services; Risk Management; Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation Morale and offices of Intelligence Security Management and Depot Operations. “There will be no physical moves or changes to funding,” said Trued.
The Army fosters a culture that is built on trust and accepts the experiences, culture, characteristics, and backgrounds each Soldier and civilian bring to the institution. In align with Army values, a diverse and inclusive environment creates an environment where all employees are treated with dignity and respect. According to Depot Sergeant Major Happiness Brown, additional implementation guidance will be disseminated soon.