Furlough guidance for MSC personnel – part one

The following blog post is the first in a series of command-wide, weekly updates intended to inform MSC personnel afloat and ashore about the ongoing budget decisions and specifically how those decisions will impact our command.

Navy-wide hiring freeze: as of March 15, a Navy-wide civilian external hiring freeze continues until further notice, per a memo from the Assistant Secretary of the Navy dated Feb. 27, 2013. At MSC, the only exception to that freeze is for civil service mariners (CIVMARs) – we will continue to hire new civil service mariners, based on an exemption granted by the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.

Furlough guidance for MSC civilians: The Departmnent of Navy  released updated FAQs on Wednesday, March 13, available here.

Updates include guidance pertaining to:

  • Definition of “civilian deployed to combat zone” for furlough exclusion purposes
  • Compressed work schedules
  • Life insurance premiums
  • Health insurance premiums
  • Furlough notices
  • Whether employee can request to be furloughed
  • GS/SES employees
  • Duty in a combat zone
  • Negotiability of implementation details
  • Second jobs

Please note: no MSC employees ashore are exempt from furlough unless they meet definition of “civilian deployed to a combat zone”. If furlough is necessary, employees will be subject to furlough for up to 22 discontinuous days (176 hours), beginning around April 26, and possibly extending until late September.

Furlough guidance for CIVMARs:

  • We are planning to furlough one day each week CIVMARs who are not assigned to a ship and not physically working on a ship
  • Expected furlough start-date is April 26 through late September
  • All CIVMARs can expect to receive a furlough letter, although only those CIVMARs who are not assigned to and physically working on ships can expect to be subject to furlough
  • CIVMARs can expect to receive furlough notification letters during the week of March 22-26, and can expect to receive a second, “deciding official” letter on or before April 26
  • Each CIVMAR will receive a Standard Form 50 (SF-50) notifying him/her of the number of days that he/she may be furloughed (up to 22 days), which will allow the manager some flexibility in the scheduling of those days
  • A CIVMAR awaiting assignment at CSU-East or CSU-West can also expect to serve one furlough day each week
  • CIVMARs, if eligible for subsistence and quarters (S&Q) because they live outside the commuting area, will continue to receive S&Q on their furlough days
  • Damage Control Officers including Afloat Training Team members can also expect to be subject to up to 22 days of furlough  

Consistent with law and DOD direction, we will not implement this direction for employees represented by unions until after we’ve fulfilled bargaining obligations on the impact and implementation of this direction and made initial notification to unions. Additionally, please be advised that MSC does not intend use contractors or military personnel to perform the work that civilians cannot accomplish due to furlough. We have requested additional clarification on several points…stay tuned for more!

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