Air Force Civilians in 'Overage' Positions Face Job Cuts

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KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- Some Air Force civilians could lose their jobs in the next several months as the service begins to use involuntary measures to eliminate about 1,000 unfunded positions, officials said Wednesday.

Some installations will be given civilian reduction-in-force authority through April 4 in order to meet Defense Department funding targets and adjust their civilian workforce, the Air Force said.

More than 1,000 unfunded civilian positions were identified at 48 Air Force installations during a major command needs assessment in early August, officials said in a statement. The Air Force did not say whether all of those positions are currently filled.

The Air Force is seeking to take unfunded positions off the books, Rose Richeson, an Air Force spokeswoman at the Pentagon, told Stars and Stripes on Thursday.

A reduction-in-force gives units "latitude and options" on how to place and move affected employees into funded positions and "clear off any positions that are unfunded," she said.

The goal, the service said, will be to place most of the remaining civilians into funded positions whenever possible.

To make a job placement easier, an employee's job grade can be reduced; pay and grade protections can be retained; and certain qualifications can be waived, officials said.

A reduction-in-force typically targets employees who have the least amount of time in their jobs.

Those who can't be immediately reassigned will be offered registration in the Defense Department's Priority Placement Program and receive consideration for future vacancies according to their registration, the Air Force said.

The Air Force will use "every possible measure to minimize personal financial hardship for our civilian workforce and their families," Lt. Gen. Gina Grosso, the deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services, said in a statement.

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