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«CIVILIAN CONNECTION Issue #61 October 2015 NGB-HR 29423 George Ave, Bldg 304 Selfridge ANGB, MI 48045-5249 The Civilian Connection is published by ...»

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October 2015


29423 George Ave, Bldg 304

Selfridge ANGB, MI 48045-5249

The Civilian Connection is published by NGB-HR. Your comments and questions are welcome. Please address them to Sandra

Barber at sandra.d.barber2.civ@mail.mil.

Ethnic and Special Observances

 National Disability Employment Awareness Month 1-31 October “My Disability is One Part of Who I Am”  Columbus Day: 12 October  National American Indian Heritage Month 1-30 November “Growing Native Leaders: Enhancing Seven Generations”  Veterans’ Day: 11 November  Thanksgiving Day: 26 November  Christmas Day: 25 December 2015 OPEN SEASON The 2015 Open Season for health, dental, and vision insurance and flexible spending accounts will be held 9 November—14 December

2015. Coverage elected during Open Season is effective the first day of the first full pay period the following January.

The annual Open Season gives federal employees the opportunity to review their health plan choices and make changes for the following year. It also allows eligible employees to enroll for coverage. The FEHB program enrollees should review the benefits and premiums for their health plan choices and decide what coverage will best fit their healthcare needs in the coming year.


The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 establishes a Self Plus One enrollment type in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program. Coverage under a Self Plus One enrollment will be available beginning in January 2016. The first opportunity to enroll in Self Plus One will be during the annual Federal Benefits Open Season beginning in November 2015.

2016 FEGLI OPEN SEASON OPM will hold a FEGLI Open Season from September 1, 2016 through September 30, 2016. During this time, eligible employees can elect or increase their FEGLI life insurance by submitting an election in the Employee Benefits Information System (EBIS). Subject to FEGLI law and regulation, including applicable pay and duty status requirements, the effective date for changes to FEGLI coverage under an Open Season election will be delayed one full year to the beginning of the first full pay period on or after October 1, 2017.

Annuitants can never increase their FEGLI coverage, even during a FEGLI Open Season. As a reminder, employees and annuitants can reduce or cancel FEGLI at any time. Enrollees who are satisfied with their current FEGLI coverage do not need to make any elections during the FEGLI Open Season.

Effective January 1, 2016, FEGLI premium rates will change for some types of coverage. There will be no changes to the premium rates for Basic Insurance for employees. Most premium rates for Option A, Option B, and Option C will decrease. Premium rates for Post-Retirement Basic Insurance with 50% Reduction and No Reduction will increase. Premium rates for older age bands of Options B and C will increase. The full list of FEGLI premium rates effective January 1, 2016 is included in Attachment 1.

The effective date for the new premiums is January 1, 2016. Payroll offices must apply the new premiums the first pay period beginning on or after that date. If you have any inquires or concerns regarding this policy, please contact BEST at 1-800-525-0102.

2015 LEAVE YEAR END DATE A leave year begins on the first day of the first full biweekly pay period in a calendar year. A leave year ends on the day immediately before the first day of the first full biweekly pay period in the following calendar year. The 2015 leave year ends pay period ending (PPE) 9 January 2016.

Employees may carry over to the next leave year a maximum amount of accrued annual leave (240 hours for most employees). "Use or lose" annual leave is the amount of accrued annual leave that is in excess of the employee's maximum annual leave limitation for carry over into the next leave year. Employees must "use" their excess annual leave by the end of a leave year or they will "lose" (forfeit) it. An agency may consider restoring annual leave that was forfeited due to an exigency of the public business or sickness of the employee only if the annual leave was scheduled in writing before the start of the third biweekly pay period prior to the end of the leave year;

for 2015, which is 28 November 2015.

For additional information and to review the leave year end dates, please visit OPM.gov.




 Mary Hiller, DSN: 273-4083 or mary.a.hiller.civ@mail.mil  Christine Ross, DSN: 273-6503 or christine.m.ross21.civ@mail.mil  Nicole Tringali, DSN: 273-4081 or nicole.m.tringali.civ@mail.mil  Sandra Barber, DSN: 273-6501 or sandra.d.barber2.civ@mail.mil


Managers, do you have a hard to fill position? Consider the Pathways Program as your recruitment source to fill these positions to reach a more diverse candidate pool who are continuing their education and will bring new and fresh ideas to your organization. Under the Pathways Program, there are two different sources at your disposal.

Pathways Internship Program: To be eligible for the Pathways Intern Program, students must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a wide variety of educational institutions from high school to graduate level or a technical or vocational program. An intern without a NTE date should be seeking a degree related to the career field they were hired into. The intention is to convert the Intern upon degree completion to a Term or Competitive appointment.

Pathways Recent Graduate Program: This program is for individuals who have recently graduated from qualifying educational institutions or programs and seek a dynamic, career development program with training and mentorship. To be eligible, applicants must apply within two years of degree or certificate completion (except for Veterans precluded from doing so due to their military service obligation, who will have up to six years to apply).

Public Notification Requirements: To meet public notification requirements, AF shall use USAJOBS to post job opportunity announcements (JOAs) and accept applicants. To ensure consistency and transparency, standard JOA templates shall be used in accordance with the common business process.

Recruitment may be limited geographically, such as a local commuting area as defined in 5 CFR 351.203. OPM requires that all job opportunities be published in USAJOBS to make positions easily searchable for potential candidates.

Veterans Preference: Applicants must be referred in Veterans’ Preference order, per 5 CFR 302, using either ranked or unranked referral lists, or category rating-like procedures.

If you have additional questions regarding the Pathways Programs, please contact Sandra Barber or Christine Ross.


The purpose of this article is to re-emphasize the importance of following the Merit System Principles and guarding yourself against Prohibited Personnel Practices. The Air Force focuses significant attention on how decisions are made. To that end, it is critical that we all continuously remind ourselves about Merit System Principles and Prohibited Personnel Practices.

The Merit System Principles are nine basic standards that govern the management of the workforce. The principles are part of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978. This Act requires the Office of Personnel Management to hold Managers and Human Resource officials accountable for efficient and effective Human Resource Management in support of agency missions in accordance with Merit System Principles. These nine principles must be applied when making personnel decisions and effecting personnel actions.

Often, Prohibited Personnel Practices occur unintentionally. They can occur when Supervisors do not fully explore all possible avenues in solving human resources related problems or addressing concerns.

Please visit http://www.mspb.gov/meritsystemsprinciples.htm for more information on the nine Merit System Principles and http:// www.mspb.gov/ppp/ppp.htm for guidance on Prohibited Personnel Practices. Use these links to fully educate yourself on these issues or just as a reminder on the processes.

For more information, please contact Christine Ross.


Reminder: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has four mandatory training sessions for Supervisors, Hiring Managers, and the

HR Community, these include:

 38 U.S.C. 4335, Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). Available in AF e-Learning.

 Executive Order 13518, Veteran Employment Training for Federal Hiring Managers & HR Professionals. Available for FREE at www.hru.gov.

 Executive Order 13548, Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities. Available for FREE at www.hru.gov.

 Presidential Memorandum, dated 31 January 2014 -- Enhancing Safeguards to Prevent the Undue Denial of Federal Employment Opportunities to the Unemployed and Those Facing Financial Difficulty Through no Fault of Their Own. Available in AF Portal.

Each of these training sessions will take approximately one hour to complete. They will provide valuable information that will help you understand the importance of these programs and how they relate directly to you and reflect directly on your agency.

When this training has been completed, you will be required to perform a self-update in myBiz+. NOTE: The USERRA training in AF eLearning will automatically update in your records. If you require assistance, please contact Selfridge HR Office.

STAFFING & RECRUITINGusaf.mi.127-wg.mbx.ngb-staff@mail.mil


 Mary Hiller, DSN: 273-4083 or mary.a.hiller.civ@mail.mil  Christine Ross, DSN: 273-6503 or christine.m.ross21.civ@mail.mil  Nicole Tringali, DSN: 273-4081 or nicole.m.tringali.civ@mail.mil  Sandra Barber, DSN: 273-6501 or sandra.d.barber2.civ@mail.mil


The Veteran Opportunity to Work Act (The VOW Act) requires federal agencies to treat active duty service members as Veterans, Disabled Veterans, and preference eligible consistent with section 2108a of the US Code when they submit, at the time of application for a Federal job, a certification stating they are expected to be honorably discharged or released from active duty within 120 days after the date of submission.

Within the 120 days from the date of submission of the certification, active duty service members MUST retire or separate from military service in order to comply with the VOW Act and associated laws. If a military member starts terminal leave but is not retired or separated within 120 days from the date of submission of the certification, they are not eligible under VOW.


In an effort to assist the Air Force in meeting the Office of Personnel Management’s mandated 80 day fill goal, and in accordance with the AFPC/CC memo dated 23 April 2012, all Air Force referral certificates are issued a 15-day expiration date.

In keeping with the intent to complete the recruitment process as expeditiously as possible, certificate extensions will be granted only when the need to extend is justifiable. Since the referral certificate must be worked in 15 days, pre-planning before the receipt of the certificate is essential. Only in rare and unusual circumstances will a referral certificate be extended beyond 15 days. The request to extend must justify the need for the extension and must identify the efforts made to work the certificate before the original expiration date.

Requests for extensions, with written justification, may be submitted to NGB/HR for consideration prior to the certification expiration date.




 Sandra Barber, DSN: 273-6501 or sandra.d.barber2.civ@mail.mil


Employees may update their training record in DCPDS using the MyBiz+ self-service module. This self-service tool allows employees to view, add, or delete completed training and professional military education (PME) in their personnel record.

The Air Force is required to track and report all completed training in the personnel data system that is mandatory or required by law, the Office of Personnel Management, the DoD, or AF policy. If you are a current civilian employee and you complete AF sponsored training or PME, your civilian personnel or education and training section will automatically update your training record. Therefore, we request you wait 30 days after completing training to allow the personnel data system to update. This is very important to avoid erroneous or duplicate training entries as they clutter your record, making it difficult for you and your supervisor to focus on your important training data and could cause supervisors to overlook vital training entries when considering you for future jobs. You may also add non-mandatory training you completed to your training record, for example, self-development courses that are applicable to your current job or for future career progression. We do not recommend you input completed training events that are not mandatory or required or are less than eight (8) hours unless they pertain to qualifications for current or future jobs. You may also update your PME that was completed before you entered civil service.

To view or update your training information in MyBiz, click on DCPDS Portal, MyBiz, and “Update My Information”. Select the “Training” tab to view, add or delete your training information. To add a completed training course, select the “Add” button and update the data fields, as required. When completed, the entry will reflect “Self-Certified” in the “Training Update Source” column. If you need to update or correct a “Self-Certified” entry, you must delete the entry and reenter the correction information using the “Add” feature.

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