Robins update on early retirement/separation incentives

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  • By 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Base officials said today that more than 1,200 civilian employees have applied for voluntary early retirement and voluntary separation incentives offered as part of recent Air Force and local civilian workforce restructuring initiatives.

The base conducted an initial round of VERA/VSIP in the fall after the Air Force announced it would trim 16,500 civilian positions in fiscal 2012, including 452 at Robins. While any eligible employee could apply, offers were made primarily to those in service support and over hire positions.
The first round of VERA/VSIP resulted in 238 employees retiring or separating on Dec 31.

The application window for a second VERA/VSIP closed Sunday, and the base began making offers to employees today in conjunction with that. While some of the offers are tied to the Air Force reductions, it will also include offers to as many as 540 employees as part of changes in FY12 depot maintenance workload. This includes wage grade workers in the 402nd Maintenance Wing. Employees who accept the offers must retire or separate on April 30.

In a news release announcing the second round of VERA/VSIP, Maj. Gen. Sharon Dunbar, Air Force director of force management policy, said the workforce restructuring initiatives are designed to help the service reduce overhead, increase efficiency, and realign its limited resources with its most important missions.

"The Air Force recognizes the invaluable contributions of our civilian workforce, but also recognizes the fiscal constraints under which the Department of Defense and the government as a whole are operating," she said. "We are working to balance mission needs while taking care to minimize the effect on our current permanent civilian workforce and their families.

"We are pursuing all available force management measures, to include civilian hiring controls, where required, with the goal of avoiding involuntary measures for our current permanent workforce," she added.

Max Wyche, director of personnel at Robins, said as of today there are no plans for another round of VERA/VSIP, nor is there a planned RIF, or (civilian) reduction-in-force.

Robins AFB officials remain committed to utilizing all available voluntary workforce programs to achieve the desired reductions, he said.