Personnel News: July 1996 Archives

TO: Officials-in-Charge of Headquarters Offices
FROM: A/Administrator
SUBJECT: Revised "Go-to" Ceilings

The recommendations presented on July 12,1996, have been accepted, and the enclosed "go to" ceilings for each Headquarters organizations are established. The following guidelines are provided for use in the development of implementation plans for the new Headquarters structure. These guidelines address the functions to be performed in the "go to" Headquarters organization. However, all individuals currently occupying positions within transferring organizations will be accommodated.

International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers
National Aeronautics and Space Administration Headquarters Professional Association (NHPA)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Washington, DC 20546-0001

July 19, 1996

Mr. Daniel Goldin
NASA Headquarters
300 E Street SW
Washington DC 20546

Dear Mr. Goldin:

Due to the lack of adequate response to our letters and communications to your management team represented by Mr. Christensen, we are obligated to write this letter to you. Your management has indicated that full responsibility for the RIF and downsizing actions are by your direction. Therefore, we deserve a response from you.

We were very disappointed to receive the July 12 letter from Mr. Christensen on downsizing of headquarters. His response dealt exclusively with issues raised in our May 2 letter. Our May 10 letter generated a tremendous outpouring of support and consensus from all levels of employees throughout the organization, from secretaries to high-level managers. However, Mr., Christensen's response was totally unresponsive to the significant concerns raised in our May 10 letter involving the process by which NASA is proceeding with headquarters downsizing.


1. Q: What is the anticipated attrition for the next several years?

A: We anticipate that attrition will stay in the 2.5% to 3% range through FY 2000. This attrition rate will not provide the 3400 reduction we need to get from our present 20.900 to our FY 2000 target of 17,500. A more critical problem is that such an attrition rate will require a reduction in force (RIF) or furlough at some Centers to meet outyear targets associated with the FY96 budget. It remains to be seen what impact our actual outyear budgets will have.

2. Q: There will be over 3,000 retirement eligible employees at NASA within the next several years. Therefore, it would seem that natural attrition should take care of this situation. Pleas explain.

A; In past years NASA found that employees typically worked 4 years beyond their eligibility for regular retirement. However, recent experience indicates that people are working even longer. We currently find that fewer than 20% of those eligible retire in a normal year. While the number of retirement eligibles will increase, the number of retirees has already shown signs of slowing, consistent with our overall lower attrition rates. Therefore, even with such a large eligible population, we could not expect enough losses to meet annual employment targets already in place.

Discussions about a RIF lave little impact on retirement eligibles since they have relatively long service and are unlikely to be affected by its negative consequence. We need a significant separation incentive to motivate people who have other employment possibilities or are eligible for an annuity to leave sooner and in greater numbers than previous buyouts. This is crucial to our reducing and rebalancing our workforce.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Washington, DC 20546-0001
Reply to Attn of: CP
JUL 12 1996

Mr. Donald Teague
President, NASA Headquarters Professional Association
International Federation of Professional and
Technical Engineers, Local 9
Washington, DC 20546-0001

Dear Mr. Teague:

I am responding to the questions raised in your memorandums of May 2 and 10, 1996, to Deputy Administrator (acting) General James R. Dailey, regarding planning for a reduction-in-force (RIF). This reply is an extension of the meetings I have held with you to discuss the plans and deliberations involved in the Headquarters downsizing initiatives. These meetings, and others planned in the future, answer your request for a dialog on this matter.

At the outset, let me assure you that the Agency has not officially determined that a RIF is necessary, as I mentioned on our recent meeting on July 9, 1996. We believe it prudent, however, to consider the possibility of a reduction-in-force, given the earlier planning targets and the code responses, especially if outplacement actions do not achieve the appropriate staffing levels approved for Headquarters by the Administrator. Therefore, our focus is on placement and transition assistance to other Centers, tot he private sector, and into retirement. The results of these initiatives, and others being proposed, could make it unnecessary to further consider a reduction-in-force.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Office of the Administrator
Washington, DC 20546-0001
Jul 9 1996

The Honorable Christopher S. Bond
Subcommittee on VA-HUD- Independent Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Mr. Chairman:

For the past 4 years, NASA has undertaken an effort to instill a renewed definition of excellence in the Agency's institution and the conduct of its research and technology programs. Driven initially by the need to formulate more realistic budgets and to achieve a streamlined workforce, NASA has embraced a philosophy of reinvention which extends beyond mandated reductions and focuses on maximizing the efficiency, effectiveness, and vitality of the Agency.

We have made significant progress toward a renewed NASA. In fact, more than half of the 7500 full-time equivalent (FTE) reductions needed in the civil service workforce to reach the target of 17,500 by FY 2000 mandated by reinvention have been accomplished through voluntary measures such as separation incentives, hiring freezes, attrition, and aggressive outplacement. In order to achieve the remaining 3500 reductions to reach that target, while maintaining the vitality of the Agency, I am requesting your support for legislation to be incorporated in H.R. 3666, the FY 1997 VA-HUD-Independent Agencies appropriations bill, which would permit NASA to offer separation incentives of up to $50,000 to its employees.



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