Thursday, February 5, 2009

A reorganization by any other name is still seen as a reorganization

So, we have this little reorg going.  Sure, we're calling it something else, and, sure, it's more than a reorg, but this spring for many members and employees, it's a reorg.

As a civilian employee of this great service (and no sarcasm is meant there), I received word last week that, well, I can't yet to told what my role in the reorganized organization is.  I didn't take to too kindly to that.

Below is a redacted copy of what I think about that. I've removed some of the overtly identifying information, but otherwise, it's what I blasted out the union.
Dear Ms. Jones,

I understand that you were involved in the command notifications yesterday. I wanted to alert you to my situation and ask that you take appropriate action in your role as the union representative.

My division chief did call me yesterday. But, he called to tell me that I wasn't being notified of my billet moves. He did tell me that billets that will be attached to district will be notified at a later date and that no one is losing a job or is being moved out of the local area. I note that he called me in order to provide what information he could, and, as I understand it, that his superiors had actually originally directed him not to provide me with any information at all.

As I read between the lines, then, my billet is slated to move to district. I see that as a substantial change in my work conditions, a change which I am not satisfied with.

Since December 1996, I have been employed as a civilian employee with the service as an organizational performance consultant (nee quality performance consultant). From 1996 through the summer of 2001, my billet was assigned to the support command in Norfolk. That summer, the billet was administratively moved to the Portsmouth command, but my desk and role remained in Norfolk. In my role as performance consultant for support command, my work spanned the entire US east of the Rockies, working with the support staff and other units across the Area and, often outside the Area. My span and impact was service wide; the projects I worked on were often high-level initiatives. I was a member of, either directly or virtually, of the command staff at the support command, assigned to the deputy's staff.

This past summer, with a new division chief at the operational command division to which I was administratively assigned, I was directed to move my desk from the support command in Norfolk to the division offices in Portsmouth. With this move, my work refocused away from supporting the support command, but remained on initiatives with a service wide focus.

While organizational performance consultants assigned to districts generally do the same sort of work, they are also generally restricted from working on service wide projects, being directed to focus on district units within the district. Most organizational performance consultants assigned to districts are restricted in working with non-district units, thus reducing the span of their work. A district organizational performance consultant has a much different set of work conditions, a set of work conditions which are generally much more limiting in nature.

As a member of both the bargaining unit and the union's local, I request that you engage management on my behalf. At this time, I am unwilling to accept a move to the district staff as it is a substantial change in my work conditions. Indeed, moving me with my colleagues to the executive director of the new organization would actually be a move which is more in keeping with both my span of work since I was hired with the service and my organizational placement until last summer.

Management may argue that this move is made in order to staff the district to the same levels as the other districts (except one west coast district, which at this time also does not have two organizational performance consultants). I note that this argument is specious in that it ignores a huge swath of the service -- the current support command and future massive support community -- which has NO organizational performance consultants providing support.

If you have any questions about my situation, please do not hesitate to contact me.

I have with this email provided courtesy copies to my direct supervisor, my second line supervisor, and representatives of the performance excellence program at headquarters.

I look forward to hearing from you as you work this issue along with what I would think are a multitude of issues arising from the service's reorganization efforts.
I'd note that until about four months ago, I was not a member of the union and joining wasn't even on my radar. That changed around November...

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