Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Non-reappointment not making sense

So, some of you will remember the other day when I posted that my job had ended because I wasn't chosen to have my position reappointed for another two years. In the letter I received, this was the explanation given:
March 24th, 2012 marks the end of the current appointment period. Per the Stafford Act and the Conditions of Employment, you have not been reappointed. However, you are free to apply for an appointment within another Cadre.
I wrote to my (now former) supervisors to request an explanation on why I wouldn't be reappointed, especially since I have almost 8 years with the organization and have never received a negative mark on any performance evaluations. That was on Saturday (March 24th) and I didn't hear anything back until today. Here's what I got:
March 24th 2012 marked the end of the current appointment period for all DAE’s. We were asked to evaluate our current work force needs based on (insert Governmental Agency Acronym here)'s mission. This required making some difficult decisions. Clearly we had people who had contributed to our mission for a long time and were good employees. However, our current and projected staffing needs meant we needed a more nimble organization, which required making some very hard choices. At this time, it was determined per the Stafford Act and your Conditions of Employment, to allow your appointment to expire. You are free to apply for an appointment within another Cadre.
I asked for the definition of a "more nimble organization" but only received the same paragraph in response.

"More nimble organization" -- what the heck does that mean? It's not like we're in the military having to carry packs of equipment on our backs. Heck, some co-workers I've seen have barely lifted a ream of paper to refill a copy machine. And if they're talking about age, I'm only 41 and most of my dearest friends who work with this organization (for now at least) are much older than I am.

I also asked if I'm qualified to apply for an appointment within another Cadre and received no answer. I then found the following information posted regarding the way all of the new changes are coming about:
Q: How will someone become part of the National Disaster Reservist Program? A: More information on opportunities and the process for obtaining appointments to the NDRP will be forthcoming in the next 60 days.

Q: I understand that there is a hiring freeze of DAEs now, is this true? A: Yes and no. Any person who is not currently employed by (insert Governmental Organization Acronym here), current local hires, and those who are seeking employment as a new DAE are being asked to wait until the NDRP is fully functional. Any Permanent Full-Time, Temporary Full-Time, or CORE employee who is transitioning to become a DAE will have their transition processed so that they do not have a break in service which would impact items such as their health care benefits.
As I read this -- and someone please correct me if I've got it all wrong -- there's a new program that will be called the NDRP. You can't apply for it right now but they might have information on how to obtain an appointment in it within approximately 60 days (this is the government, you know). And if you were a DAE but you're not one now because you weren't reappointed, you can't apply for a new position in a new Cadre because there's a hiring freeze.

This doesn't make sense! If you can't reapply for your job or for a new one in a new Cadre, then why tell us we can?

Now, there is a clause in our Conditions of Employment that says they can release us at any time for any reason because we're temporary intermittent workers. But I smell something fishy here. They talk about the type of "ideal" workforce they need, not simply that they have to reduce the number of employees. And for a number of people, myself included, who might have unavoidable "difficulties" in meeting the "ideal" (I'll let y'all work that definition out for yourselves), this doesn't sound right.

Well, that's all I'm going to say about it for now. I'm waiting on a call from the low-vision center so I can be evaluated for adaptive technologies to help me continue to be able to work, in this job or any other one I might be able to obtain. I've advised them that the rush to get me in isn't as much of a priority at the moment since I'm not in a position to be employed soon but they're still trying to help me speed-up the process. We'll see what happens.

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