Shutdown = beach of contact?

General Discussion for SMART Scholarship Recipients

Shutdown = beach of contact?

Postby shutdownshuffle » Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:17 pm

If the government shut down occurs, and we end up working less than full time, is that not a breach by the government? Would we have a case to sue for release from our service commitment?
shutdownshuffle
 

Re: Shutdown = beach of contact?

Postby Sep292013 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:23 am

No, the government is allowed to furlough an employee for up to 30 consecutive calendar days, or 22 discontinuous days before a RIF occurs. Once you're an employee, you fall under the same rules as everyone else.

The OPM guidance found here http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/workforce-restructuring/reductions-in-force/ says:

An agency is required to use the RIF procedures when an employee is faced with separation or downgrading for a reason such as reorganization, lack of work, shortage of funds, insufficient personnel ceiling, or the exercise of certain reemployment or restoration rights. A furlough of more than 30 calendar days, or of more than 22 discontinuous work days, is also a RIF action. (A furlough of 30 or fewer calendar days, or of 22 or fewer discontinuous work days, is an adverse action.)
Sep292013
 

Re: Shutdown = beach of contact?

Postby Shutdown » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:07 am

Personally, I will be leaving the program if I'm furloughed, and I don't think a lawyer would have any problem dealing with any negative response from smart. I signed up for full time employment. That contract isn't a one-way street. If my SF can't employ me, I doubt anyone would really expect me to hang around. I have kids to take care of, and I'm extremely hireable. I didn't sign a contract that said I would hang around indefinitely without pay. Honestly I don't even think it would go to court.
Shutdown
 

Re: Shutdown = beach of contact?

Postby sickofthecrap » Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:29 am

I'm actively seeking new employment already. Private sector pay is better enough in my field where I could get fined the rest of my contract and break even in a year or two. I did the math and between SMART and a second graduate level scholarship program I was put into, the government has spent over $200,000 on my training so far. Normally I would feel guilty about leaving, but I feel no guilt whatsoever. Between the sequester, and now this, I specifically want the government to lose their investment in me.

And to think, when I started working, I was subscribed to making a difference and adding value while reducing costs to my branch. I fully planned on making a long career out of my job with the military. What a shame.
sickofthecrap
 

Re: Shutdown = beach of contact?

Postby smartDifficulty » Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:40 pm

I am curious about how this affects retention candidates. Most of the time I hear from recruitment candidates, but retention candidates are technically still employees of the government. In Phase 1, we are paid directly through the SF, which means we are affected as they are. However, in our contract we are garanteed a stipend that meets a certain amount.

We were already not given that full amount during the furlough period, but now with this we will definitely not get paid. It was in our contract that the stipend would be given, so how is this not a breach given the situation?
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Re: Shutdown = beach of contact?

Postby sickofthecrap » Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:27 pm

smartDifficulty wrote:I am curious about how this affects retention candidates. Most of the time I hear from recruitment candidates, but retention candidates are technically still employees of the government. In Phase 1, we are paid directly through the SF, which means we are affected as they are. However, in our contract we are garanteed a stipend that meets a certain amount.

We were already not given that full amount during the furlough period, but now with this we will definitely not get paid. It was in our contract that the stipend would be given, so how is this not a breach given the situation?


The real crazy part is that technically, if you are in government funded training, it is illegal at attend training during furlough hours. I am in a different program now where I am in school full time. I receive salary, not a stiepend, and was forbidden to do any school work during furlough. This time around, we have no official guidance, but we are told to attend classes anyway. From what I understand from reading OPM guidance, this is illegal. If I did not attend though, because doing so was illegal, I suffer personal damages by failing an exam I have tuesday.

The program was obviously never designed with a shutdown in mind, because it puts them in the situation where they have to tell us to work illegally, or they cause personal damages. In my case, if I get 2 C's, I'm removed from my graduate program permanently.
sickofthecrap
 

Re: Shutdown = beach of contact?

Postby 09Cohort » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:03 am

Shutdown wrote:Personally, I will be leaving the program if I'm furloughed, and I don't think a lawyer would have any problem dealing with any negative response from smart. I signed up for full time employment. That contract isn't a one-way street. If my SF can't employ me, I doubt anyone would really expect me to hang around. I have kids to take care of, and I'm extremely hireable. I didn't sign a contract that said I would hang around indefinitely without pay. Honestly I don't even think it would go to court.


Do you have a copy of the MOU that your organization signed with SMART? It should be held somewhere in your HR department. I went looking for mine during the sequester furloughs and it had expired in 2010, the woman who had signed it for my SF doesn't even work here anymore.

The MOU did contain some language equating to an agreement to provide us with full time employment, but that has since expired. I do not believe anything else was put in place after this MOU expired, so does that mean that my SF essentially has no responsibilities (to me or SMART) to speak of?
09Cohort
 


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