The Foreign Service Journal, March 2022

16 MARCH 2022 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL W ith the implementation of Execu- tive Order 11636 [establishing employee-management relations in the U.S. Foreign Service] during the next several months, management pater- nalism over employment policies and professional practices in the foreign affairs agencies will have come to the end of its agony. The problem of determining what the employees want and really need will henceforth belong to their elected repre- sentatives. The monkey will be on AFSA’s back, and we welcome the challenge. It would be unfortunate, however, if the paternalism of management were to be replaced by the paternal- ism of an eleven-member AFSA Board. True, the Board is elected, and is broadly representative of the different interest groups in the Foreign Service. But a working sys- tem will have to be organized to keep the Board plugged into the mainstream of AFSA membership thinking at all times. In addition, the co-determination of employee-management relations can be meaningful only as part of a dynamic process that is operative at all levels where employees and managers relate to and rub against each other on a daily basis. If the majority of prob- lems cannot be settled at the same level they occur, then the system is deficient. The name of the game has become “participation.” When AFSA becomes the exclusive representative of all [FS] employees, the participation committees inWashing- ton will have to negotiate problems, policies and grievances with their respective managements. It can only work if the people concerned take the time and exert the effort to keep the initiative from drifting backward toward that old-fash- ioned paternalism. Join and support your AFSA Chapters or participation committees. Make them work for you. —Editorial, March 1972 FSJ FSOs Demand Equitable Health Care at Post A Dec. 15, 2021, memo to then–acting Under Secretary for Management Carol Perez—signed by more than 200 Foreign Service officers—calls for equal access to reproductive health services when at post overseas and asks that this right be guaranteed in the Foreign Affairs Manual. The memo, titled “On Our Own: Dip- lomats Deserve Equal Access to Repro- ductive Health Services,” which draws on the personal experiences of dozens of FSOs, says female employees and family members are routinely denied access to full reproductive health care at post, citing inconsistent availability of family planning services (including abor- tion services and rape kits), and lack of access to trained professionals such as 50 Years Ago Participation obstetrician-gynecologists, among other shortcomings. When faced with reproductive health emergencies, the memo states, diplo- mats serving around the world have been directed by the medical unit at post “to independently access dangerous local options. [Patients] accessed their lifesaving reproductive health services alone, paid for it themselves and still report trauma to this day. ... Some nearly died, many had long-lasting injuries, while others took on serious financial burdens to access the necessary care.” The full memo can be read at HealthAtPost. U.S., NATO Negotiations with Russia over Ukraine D espite a flurry of high-level diplo- macy between trans-Atlantic allies and Russia to defuse the Ukraine crisis, three rounds of talks held in Geneva, Brussels and Vienna in January ended with no significant breakthroughs. Officials in Washington are also sounding the alarm over intelligence sug- gesting Russia may be planning a provo- cation in Ukraine as a pretext for war. Russia’s military buildup on Ukraine’s border numbered close to 100,000 troops. Earlier this year, NATO allies unani- mously rejected Russia’s calls for a new security arrangement that would bar the alliance from expanding to new members eastward and engaging in military activ- ity in eastern Europe.