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Air Force to lift hiring freeze, more buyouts coming

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The Air Force yesterday said it will fully lift its four-month-old hiring freeze on Thursday, and is planning a second round of buyouts and early outs in January to further cut staffing levels.

The hiring freeze, which was imposed in August and was originally supposed to only last three months, helped the Air Force cut nearly 9,000 civilian positions. But it still has to cut another 4,500 to reach its goal of reducing its civilian workforce by 13,500.

“We have made significant progress in reducing manning levels through various programs,” Michelle LoweSolis, civilian force integration director for the Air Force Personnel Center, said Dec. 13. “But in some areas we are still short of the goal, so the freeze was extended in those targeted areas to help us work toward that end.”

The Air Force said many of the positions marked for elimination were already vacant, and the hiring freeze produced more vacant positions. It has also offered buyouts and early outs to up to 4,000 employees to get them off the rolls by Dec. 31.

The Air Force said it hasn’t yet decided who will be able to apply for the next buyouts and early outs.

“There are many moving parts involved in this effort, and we are all working to ensure employees whose positions have been targeted for elimination are quickly placed in positions vacated by those who accepted [early outs] and/or [buyouts],” LoweSolis said.

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  1. Robert Benson Says:
    December 14th, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    The website at fedbens.us offers nine free calculators for various fed benefits, including severance/VSIP pay, and annuities. Check it out!

  2. rudy samson Says:
    December 14th, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Hiring freeze, yeah right. The section I’m working at not only hired more people, they are planning to promote all the superviors and upgrade employees that are not qualified to be promoted. The morale is severely compromised and we thought we were supposed to be saving money. Is this scenario the use it or lose it plan? The rumours and propaganda Aare running rampant these days. Joint Base Pearl harbor/Hickam Afb.( FUELS) Ive aleady contacted my congressional constituents.

  3. Jim Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    The idea about eliminating government agencies should be used to move the USAF back to the Army Air Corp. Cut both their budgets by 25% (and you’re not allowed to slash current manning levels), then let them slug it out for dollars.

  4. Joebob Says:
    December 17th, 2011 at 11:33 am

    I don’t see any “money saving.” I am often memorized by how many incompetent GS12s and 13s we’ve got doing absolutely nothing. It’s really quite amazing. I think the Air Force pretty much can do what ever they want in the civilian workforce because there really isn’t any accountability. That’s a fact. Not being cynical, there’s zero accountability, period.