Contractors Say Shutdown Forced Them to Reprioritize

Contractors Say Shutdown Forced Them to Reprioritize

Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock.com

As feared, the 16-day government shutdown forced contractors to scramble for cash, revise their schedules, and reconnect with their agency liaisons, according to trade association officials.

“The good news is that most companies are putting folks back to work, which they should have been doing all along had there not been a shutdown,” said Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president and counsel at the Professional Services Council. “Our member survey shows that a large percentage of member companies did receive one or more stop-work orders. And though most, but not all, of those have now been reversed, large numbers of those contracts were unnecessarily and inappropriately stopped.”

Chvotkin said many agencies sent out blanket notices to all their contractors, even though a reading of the law says the notices would not apply to contracts fully funded in fiscal 2013 and contracts that don’t require access to government facilities or significant agency supervision. “So companies are now trying to redo those actions and restart work, which takes significant administrative work and deadlines such as something that was due in 30 days have to be rescheduled.” Continue reading “Contractors Say Shutdown Forced Them to Reprioritize”

AFGE Blasts Think Tanks’ Defense Recommendations to Slash Civilian Personnel

https://i0.wp.com/www.afge.org/images/2012/feature/_aux.jpgFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 3, 2013

Contact:Tim Kauffman
202-639-6405/202-374-6491
kaufft@afge.org

AFGE Blasts Think Tanks’ Defense Recommendations to Slash Civilian Personnel

Failure to Identify Significant Savings in Bloated Contractor Workforce is Short-Sighted

WASHINGTON – The recommendations of a group of think tanks, purporting to provide scenarios for cutting the budget of the Department of Defense, fail to meet the laugh test because they focus on massive, indiscriminate and destructive across-the-board cuts in civilian and military personnel, while in most cases leaving the more expensive and less efficient contractor shadow workforce intact, the nation’s largest federal employee union said. 

American Federation of Government Employees President J. David Cox Sr. blasted the plans as academically lazy and said it is financially disastrous to ignore growing contractor costs while recommending cuts ranging from 10 percent to more than 33 percent of the civilian workforce. The blatant failure to show balance and seriously analyze the true costs associated with various personnel recommendations invalidates the think tanks’ findings, he said. Continue reading “AFGE Blasts Think Tanks’ Defense Recommendations to Slash Civilian Personnel”

Sequestration would be bad news for contractors on many levels

By Stan Soloway,August 06, 2012

The specter of sequestration, which no one seems to support or believe to be wise policymaking, continues to loom large, despite recent reports of some progress and a change in the tone of the dialogue on Capitol Hill.

What would the effects be if this hammer actually comes down? Regrettably, there are still too many variables to bring any clarity to either the immediate or the longer-term effects, but we know there would be many. Moreover, we know that regardless of whether sequestration is imposed, the government services market will continue to be marked by two undesirable characteristics: increasingly constrained resources and uncertainty. Continue reading “Sequestration would be bad news for contractors on many levels”

Reducing Service Contract Spending Can Yield Majority of Savings Required from Sequestration, Contracting Expert says

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 11, 2013

Contact:Tim Kauffman
202-639-6405/202-374-6491
kaufft@afge.org

Reducing Service Contract Spending Can Yield Majority of Savings Required from Sequestration, Contracting Expert says

Agencies can achieve 70-90% of sequestration savings without harmful personnel cuts

WASHINGTON Agencies can generate between 70 percent and 90 percent of the savings required under sequestration by reducing their substantial spending on service contracts, while avoiding harmful cuts in civilian employees and public services, a contracting expert has concluded in a new legal memorandum released by the American Federation of Government Employees.

The detailed guidance from Charles Tiefer, Professor of Law at the University of Baltimore Law School and a leading expert in government contract law, shows agencies precisely how to reduce spending on service contracts under existing authority and in compliance with procurement law. Continue reading “Reducing Service Contract Spending Can Yield Majority of Savings Required from Sequestration, Contracting Expert says”

Sequestration Update – What AFGE Local 704 Can Do

The threat of severe reductions in agencies’ budgets in January 2013 is real. Agencies that have been willing to comment on their plans have indicated that they will try to implement the cuts without eliminating occupied positions. However, furloughs of 10 to 40 days, or more are among the possibilities, depending on the agency. Locals and Councils should prepare for negotiating over procedures to be observed, as well as appropriate arrangements for adversely affected employees.

The first step is to check the current collective bargaining agreement. It will contain provisions that govern whether the union is permitted to demand negotiations during the life of the contract, and if so, how to make the demand. Some agreements specifically preserve the right of the union to demand bargaining in the event of an announced RIF or other change in conditions of employment. Others are largely silent in this regard and the union should interpret the contract in the most favorable light. A few contracts might contain waivers of the union’s rights to negotiate during the life of the agreement, thus seriously curtailing the union’s ability to address this event. Check the articles on mid-contract bargaining, adverse actions, reduction in force, and union rights.

A Furlough May Be a RIF or an Adverse Action

1. By regulation, furloughs of up to 30 days are considered to be adverse actions. Even though a furlough caused by budget cuts is not based on the employee’s own conduct or performance, adverse action procedures must be followed.

2. Furloughs of longer than 30 days are reduction in force actions, and RIF procedures must be observed. Since the term “day” in the RIF regulations refers to calendar days, the Office of Personnel Management has interpreted the regulation as requiring RIF procedures for a furlough of 22 or more work days, whether those days are consecutive or not. (This is very important in the context of sequestration).

3. The procedures for adverse actions and RIF differ in terms of length of notice, contents of a notice, and appeal rights.

4. RIF appeal rights are determined by the collective bargaining agreement.

5. If RIF actions are not specifically excluded from the scope of the grievance procedure, then the grievance procedure must be used, and employees could not appeal to the MSPB.

6. The union must ensure that the correct procedures are observed.