Memo from Ames Federal Employee Union: Subject: Some Good News

Status Report From: Ames Federal Employees Union, IFPTE Local #30
Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2005

From: Lee Stone
Date: April 25, 2005 5:31:39 PM PDT
To: (Recipient list suppressed)
Subject: Some Good News

Dear Ames Federal Employee,

Dr. Griffin has been making major policy changes that will likely be a very good for Ames.

First, Ames is no longer a "Science" center. Indeed, all centers now report to the Administrator and not through a sponsor mission AA so Ames PIs will ostensibly be more empowered to seek funds across all programs as appropriate, hopefully on a more level playing field.

Second, center directors appear to have been elevated to a similar level to the AAs so that the concerns of Field Centers will likely get greater attention.

Third, Dr. Griffin does not support converting NASA Centers to Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs). He appears to be a firm supporter of in-house government research.

Fourth, HQ is now seriously reconsidering its workforce plan. IFPTE and others have been letting the powers that be within Congress and NASA know of the urgent need to put the "Jenning Workforce Downsizing Plan" on hold while Dr. Griffin has the opportunity to reassess the situation before moving forward with any significant workforce changes at NASA's Field Centers. It looks like HQ is now more receptive to the message that in-house expertise and capabilities are at risk from the current plan (see linked article below).

All of this demonstrates how important it is to resist rather than acquiesce to harmful decisions within the Agency even when others appear resigned or compliant. Sustained criticism (positive and negative) from your Union and many individuals within and outside of the Agency has an impact and has helped (and will help) foster more intelligent decisions at HQ.

The arrival of Dr. Griffin at NASA signals a dramatic change in philosophy. Although it is far from certain how Ames will fair under his leadership, it is clear that he is driven by a desire to accomplish the meaningful goals of NASA's missions rather than by a reflex to check boxes on some ideological management scorecard. This is a very welcome improvement. AFEU will keep you posted as the transition impacts to Ames become clearer and we will continue to represent and defend NASA's interests from the perspective of Ames' civil service employees.


--Lee Stone
VP, Legislative Affairs
Ames Federal Employee Union
IPFTE local 30

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