Q. Our organization is going through a transfer of function and half of our staff is being relocated to a new office outside the commuting area. Management is first asking for volunteers and, if staffing levels are not reached through that process, they will begin going down the list of our staff based on service computation date reassign employees to the new office.
According to the agreement reached by the employees union and management, the volunteer window is open for 45 days. An employee may rescind their request for voluntary reassignment prior to the close of the window without penalty. However, if an employee volunteers to be reassigned, then rescinds their request after the close of the 45-day window, that employee gives up their position (seniority) on the list and management may invoke its right to involuntarily reassign that employee, without regard to that employee’s SCD.
I am 46 years old with 26 years of service. I had planned on leaving service in the next three or four years prior to all of this happening, knowing I will not be eligible for retirement. I am 17th on the list of 22 employees to be reassigned to the new location, so that’s not likely to happen. However, if I volunteer to be reassigned to the new office then rescind my request to volunteer after the close of the window, is there anything that would preclude me from taking a discontinued service retirement?
A. Not if you meet one of the criteria that would apply in this situation: abolition of your position, transfer of function outside the commuting area or reassignment outside the commuting area when no mobility agreement exists.