The following commentary has just been posted on the AFGE Local 1812 union website which represents hundreds of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) federal employees.

AFGE Local 1812

Link to the AFGE Local 1812 commentary.

“Is the BBG Secretly Planning to Shutdown VOA?

AFGE Local 1812 has been hearing credible reports that the senior staff of the BBG is working hard on contingency plans for VOA if there is no agreement to modify the sequestration deal reached last year to avert a government default on its debt.  Sequestration is the term used for an across-the-board budget reduction to save over $1 trillion in federal spending.  If nothing changes it will take effect on January 2, 2013. 

In a letter to the IBB office of Labor Relations in early August, AFGE Local 1812 President Tim Shamble expressed his concern on behalf of the nearly 900 employees we represent about the potential negative impact this could have on bargaining unit members and the Union has requested bargaining on the subject.

Said Shamble in the letter, “AFGE Local 1812 requests a copy of the Agency’s contingency plans that show how the Agency plans to address sequestration should it occur.”  So far there have been no responsive documents.

If BBG, IBB and VOA management are making contingency plans to deal with the effect of sequestration, why haven’t they notified your Union?  How many employees will be furloughed or RIFed?  Will language services be shut down?  Will VOA be shut down altogether?

We think it is highly irresponsible if there is no contingency planning.  If there is, why aren’t we being notified?  Nobody’s telling us how we should advise our members to prepare.

AFGE Local 1812 suggests you contact your Member of Congress and ask them to demand that the BBG explain what it plans to do and why we are being kept in the dark! 

Happy Holidays!

Posted: Thursday, Sep 13, 2012”

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