The Foreign Service Journal, June 2003

officials and management, with that of labor union. Pat Schroeder, D-Colo., Chairman of the House Post Office and Civil Service Committee, sought to assure consistency between the Foreign Service Act and the Civil Service Act wherever pos- sible. However, this required a framework that could reconcile Civil Service “rank in job” provi- sions with the Foreign Service “rank in person” system, under which members periodically move into and out of man- agement positions. To deal with this conflict required creation of a personnel system unique to the Foreign Service in which positions, not rank, determine who is “management” (and therefore is excluded from the bar- gaining unit while in that position). This conflict also affected the crucial issue of representation in grievance proceedings. AFSA sought to have discretion as to whom it represented in such proceedings. We did not want to be compelled to support cases that would undermine ser- vice discipline, but we did wish to represent all members in issues where the principles of the profession were at stake. In the end, we were reason- ably successful in broadening the base of the bargain- ing unit. However, we were unsuccessful in narrowing the scope of our grievance representation responsibili- ties; AFSA is not permitted to deny grievance repre- sentation based on its view of the merits of the case. Assuring a competitive recruitment, retention F O C U S J U N E 2 0 0 3 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L 45 The AFSA team engaged in negotiations that frequently were every bit as intense as those the Foreign Service conducts with other nations.