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The 28 people in the conference room were encouraged to share their ideas. The discussion was open and frank. Not everyone agreed on the topics.

But they shared the goal of improving things for the workforce.

“If everyone agreed in this room we’re wasting our time,” Redstone Senior Commander Lt. Gen. Larry Wyche said.

Leaders and union representatives gathered for Team Redstone’s fourth management and labor discussion forum Feb. 5 at Garrison headquarters. The forum, held about every two months, was conducted by Vanessa Midgett, director of the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center, which is part of the Civilian Human Resources Agency.

“These are important sessions,” she said. “It is your forum, a management-labor forum. So as we move forward, your concerns and issues can be elevated to a more appropriate level.”

Participants included the respective presidents of two unions representing the employees organized into distinct bargaining units on Redstone Arsenal. The National Federation of Federal Employees, or NFFE, Local 1332’s President Marticia Banks-Booker participated as did the American Federation of Government Employees, or AFGE, Local 1858’s President Abner Merriweather.

Telework was a major discussion topic including verification that all workforce positions are coded correct and that employees who requested to participate in telework are eligible to do so.

Top areas of concern identified by forum attendees included workforce reductions/sequestration, promotions/merit promotion, safety of the post/cybersecurity, pre-decisional involvement, request for information delayed by command counsel, retaliatory acts against union officials/stewards, and the selection process.

“We are making progress,” Wyche said. “It might be an inch at a time but those inches add up.”

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