@StateDept’s 2015 Unaccompanied Tour Holiday Family Reception

Posted: 12:49 am EDT
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Via state.gov:

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry poses for a photo with the families of U.S. government employees on assignment at unaccompanied posts around the world, who endure long periods of separation from their loved ones, even at the holidays, at the annual Unaccompanied Tour Holiday Family Reception at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on December 16, 2015. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry poses for a photo with the families of U.S. government employees on assignment at unaccompanied posts around the world, who endure long periods of separation from their loved ones, even at the holidays, at the annual Unaccompanied Tour Holiday Family Reception at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on December 16, 2015. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

Related item:

12/16/15  Remarks at the Unaccompanied Tour Holiday Family Reception;  Secretary of State John Kerry; Washington, DC

 

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United Airlines Changes Unaccompanied Minor (UM) Policy For Kids Traveling Alone

Posted: 12:49 am EDT
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An FS member alerted us about a recent change in United Airlines’ unaccompanied minor (UM) policy.  “It had been optional to be an unaccompanied minor for those 12 and above — now everyone under 16 is required to pay an extra $150, fly only on direct United flights, and be handed off at the gate by a guardian or caregiver at each end.”

Apparently, United was the last of the three major airlines with a permissive UM policy.  Delta and American already required the UM service for those under 15, although minors were allowed to change planes.

Our correspondent asks: “Is M/FLO engaged on this?  There will presumably, be a significant impact on 9th and 10th graders from the foreign affairs community attending boarding school in the USA while their parents are abroad.  Combine these UM policies with city-pair rules, requiring the use of a contract carrier when travel is USG-paid, and I see an interesting Catch 22 brewing.”

We’ve asked the FLO but have not received a response.

Below via United:

For tickets purchased on or after December 14, 2015, children 5 to 15 years of age who travel on an aircraft without a parent, a legal guardian or someone who is at least 18 years of age are considered unaccompanied minors and are subject to certain restrictions. Travel arrangements for these young travelers can be booked through united.com or the United Customer Contact Center.

Information for children traveling alone

  • Unaccompanied minors can only travel on nonstop flights operated by United or United Express®. United does not offer unaccompanied minor service to or from other airlines’ flights.
  • Children younger than 5 years of age are not accepted as unaccompanied minors.
  • Children 5 to 15 years of age who are traveling alone must use our unaccompanied minor service. A service charge will apply.
  • Unaccompanied minor service is not available for children over age 15. Children ages 16 and 17 may travel alone on any United- or United Express-operated flights.
Children 5 to 15 years of age who are not accompanied on an aircraft by a parent, a legal guardian or someone who is at least 18 years of age are considered unaccompanied minors and are subject to certain restrictions. Travel arrangements for these young travelers can be booked through united.comor the United Customer Contact Center.

Information for children traveling alone

  • Unaccompanied minors can only travel on nonstop flights operated by United or United Express®. United does not offer unaccompanied minor service to or from other airlines’ flights.
  • Children younger than 5 years of age are not accepted as unaccompanied minors.
  • Children 5 to 15 years of age who are traveling alone must use our unaccompanied minor service and pay the applicable service charge.
  • Children ages 12 to 17 can use United’s unaccompanied minor service for travel on nonstop flights operated by United or United Express, or they can travel as adults on any flights without using United’s unaccompanied minor service.

Service charges

Children traveling unaccompanied pay the regular adult fare. An additional service charge is collected to cover extra handling required when an unaccompanied child travels. Please confirm this charge when placing your reservation.

The service charge is $150 each way for children traveling with United’s unaccompanied minor service to any destination. The unaccompanied minor service charge may be paid at the time of reservation, or prior to departure at a United check-in counter.

FAQ: Frequently asked questions

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American Airlines says on its website that its unaccompanied minor service is to ensure your child is boarded onto the aircraft, introduced to the flight attendant, chaperoned during connections and released to the appropriate person at their destination.

  • The unaccompanied minor service fee is $150 (plus tax) each way
  • 2 or more unaccompanied minors from the same family, traveling on the same flights, will only be charged $150 (plus tax) each way

American Airlines will not accept unaccompanied minors when their itineraries include a connection to/from another airline, including codeshare and oneworld® partners and ground/co-terminal connections (unaccompanied minors under 15 years, can’t use ground transportation alone). Read more here.

Delta Airlines also provides special services for children who are flying by themselves. Children 5-14 years of age traveling without an adult (18 years plus) are considered an Unaccompanied Minor (UMNR) and must participate in the airlines’ UMNR program.  Unaccompanied Minor (UMNR) service is mandatory for ages 5-14. Children ages 15-17 are not required to have unaccompanied service; however, we will provide the service if requested. The UMNR service fee will apply. Read more here.

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Meet the 17 Members of the Foreign Service Grievance Board (as of October 1, 2015)

Posted: 12:10 am EDT
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Via FSGB:

Prior to 1971, employee grievances in the foreign affairs agencies were handled informally within the agencies.  The first formal grievance system covering Foreign Service members of the three principal foreign affairs agencies — the Department of State, the Agency for International Development, and the United States Information Agency — was established under Executive Order 11636 of December 24, 1971.

On March 26, 1976 Congress amended the Foreign Service Act of 1946 to establish a permanent grievance system.  Although it retained many of the procedures of the earlier, interim system, the statutory system carried additional functions and authority.  In particular, the new Board could order the suspension of agency actions pending the Board’s decision in cases involving the separation or disciplining of an employee if it considered such action warranted.  Further, the Board’s recommendations to an agency head could be rejected only if they “would be contrary to law, would adversely affect the foreign policy or security of the United States, or would substantially impair the efficiency of the service.”

The grievance system underwent further change pursuant to the Foreign Service Act of 1980 and implementing regulations which went into effect on June 11, 1984.  The Foreign Commercial Service of the Department of Commerce and the Foreign Agricultural Service of the Department of Agriculture were added to the agencies already covered.

Through the years the makeup of the Board has changed from the initial nine members to a membership of nineteen.  Board members are appointed by the Secretary of State and the innovative mix of an almost equal number of professional arbitrators and of other members having Foreign Service experience has remained constant.

Per 3 FAM 4440 (PDF), the Chairperson and other members of the Board shall be appointed by the Secretary of State from nominees approved in writing by the agencies to which this regulation applies and the exclusive representative (if any) for each such agency.  Each member of the Board shall be appointed for a term of two years, subject to renewal with the same written approvals required for initial appointment.

Members of the Foreign Service Grievance Board — 17, as of October 1, 2015:

#1.  Bernadette M. Allen |  Bernadette M. Allen completed her 30-year Foreign Service career in the United States diplomatic corps in May 2010. She served as the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Niger from March 2006 through January 2010. Other overseas postings included Burundi, The People’s Republic of China, The Republic of the Philippines and Canada, as well as temporary duty assignments in Haiti and Japan. Her service years in Washington, DC included desk officer to management level positions in the Bureau of African Affairs, the Bureau of Consular Affairs, the Bureau of Legislative Affairs and the National Foreign Affairs Training Center (see more PDF)

#2.  Barbara C. Cummings | Barbara Cummings earned a B.A. degree in history from Brandeis University in 1978, and a J.D. degree from the George Washington University in 1981. She is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association. In 1982, she joined the Department of State as a Foreign Service officer and spent her first assignment in Athens, Greece as a vice-consul. After Greece, Barbara was assigned to Jamaica, the United Kingdom, Albania, Canada, Peru and Italy. In 1991, Barbara became the first U.S. Consul to serve in Albania following a 48-year break in diplomatic relations between the U.S. and formerly communist and isolationist Albania. She also had three tours in Washington, D.C. In 1998, she graduated from the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. with a M.S. degree in national security strategy. Her final overseas assignment was as Minister Counselor for Consular Affairs and Consul General in Rome, Italy. She served as Diplomat in Residence for the Washington, D.C., Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and Northern Virginia region based at Howard University from 2008 until her retirement from the Department in 2010. (see more PDF)

#3.  William J. Hudson | William J. Hudson joined the Foreign Service in 1972 after completing a BA and MA at UCLA and serving two years in the US Army. His assignments have included tours in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. In the Department he served in HR, as Executive Director for the Bureau of African Affairs and later as Executive Director of the Middle Eastern and South Asian Bureaus. In the latter position he had key responsibility for reestablishing a US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. Mr. Hudson served as US Ambassador to Tunisia from 2003 to 2006. He retired in 2006. Since retirement he has worked for the Department of State in several contract positions, including as A/DAS in the Near Eastern Bureau. (PDF)

#4. Gregory D. Loose | Greg Loose has been a member of the Foreign Service Grievance Board since 2013. He is a retired Foreign Service Officer who was with the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service for twenty-two years. He held the rank of Minister-Counselor and his overseas postings included Tokyo, Taipei, Ho Chi Minh City, and London. He also served in Washington, D.C. as Regional Director with executive responsibility for U.S. Department of Commerce personnel and operations in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. Before joining the U.S. Government, Greg held positions in the banking industry in Los Angeles and Tokyo. (PDF)

#5. J. Robert Manzanares | Mr. Manzanares is a retired career State Department senior Foreign Service officer with the rank of Minister- Counselor. Mr. Manzanares served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Human Resources from August 2009 through June 2012 where he supervised Performance Evaluations, Employee Relations, Recruitment, Assessment and Employment as well as the Executive Office for the Bureau of Human Resources. Prior to this, he served as the State Department’s Diplomat in Residence located at the University of New Mexico campus in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mr. Manzanares was also responsible for outreach to the University of Texas at El Paso, and Universities in Colorado and Wyoming.  Mr. Manzanares served as the Acting Permanent and Deputy Permanent Representative of the United States to the Organization of American States. While in these positions Mr. Manzanares held Ambassadorial rank. From 2003 to mid 2006, he was Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Spain. From 2000 to 2003 he was Executive Director to the Executive Secretariat of the Office of Secretary of State under Secretary Powell. He was Executive Director for the Bureau of African Affairs from 1998 to 2000. Previous postings include Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Mexico City, Mexico; Reykjavik, Iceland where he served as Management Officer; and Tel Aviv, Israel, where he was Acting Deputy Chief of Mission and Management Counselor. (PDF)

#6William B. Nance | William Nance has many years of international development experience with USAID, and in the private and non-governmental sectors. He retired from the U.S. Government as a Senior Foreign Service officer at USAID where he served in Washington and in several overseas posts, including his last posting as USAID Representative to Mongolia. Mr. Nance also worked for the Institute of International Education, a non-profit organization, where he was responsible for directing a staff of more than 50 people (40 in Cairo, a dozen in the U.S.) that designed and managed training programs on behalf of USAID/Cairo for some 40,000 Egyptians, over a five-year period. At that same time he managed (from Washington, DC) small local staff offices in Pretoria, Windhoek, and Washington, responsible for designing and arranging training programs for students and professionals from countries in South Africa, Namibia, Indonesia, the Philippines, India, and Panama. (PDF)

#7. Harlan F. Rosacker  | Harlan Rosacker retired from the U.S. Information Agency after serving for eight years as the Director, Office of Personnel. He was a member of the Foreign Service Grievance Board from 2003 until 2008 and was reappointed in 2011. He was appointed to the Foreign Service in 1966 and served in Laos from 1967 until 1969 — as Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer in Vientiane and as Branch Public Affairs Officer in Luang Prabang. After twenty months of intensive Japanese language training in Yokohama, he managed the Embassy’s media relations program in Tokyo from 1971 until 1976. He was transferred to Washington in 1976, spent one year as a Congressional Fellow and then worked as a Career Counselor in USIA’s Foreign Service Personnel Division. In 1980 he converted to the Civil Service and held several positions overseeing USIA’s Civil Service and Foreign Service personnel systems, including Foreign Service assignments, training, labor relations, and policy development. He served as a member of the Board of the Foreign Service and the Board of Examiners. (PDF).

#8. Jeanne Schulz | Jeanne Schulz is a retired member of the Foreign Service (Consular Cone) and an inactive member of the State Bar of California. She was the Executive Assistant to the Head of Mission, Office for Security and Co-operation in Europe (Bosnia and Herzegovina) 1999-2000. Prior to that Ms. Schulz was the Consul General in La Paz, Bolivia 1994-1998 and at Embassy Office Berlin 1989-1994. She served as the Hungarian Desk Officer 1988-1989 and Deputy of Overseas Citizens Services 1986-1988. In Mexico City Ms. Schulz served as the Deputy Chief of Citizens Services 1985-1986 and Head of the Property Unit 1984-1985. Her first overseas tour as a visa officer was in Bogotá, Colombia 1982-1984. Prior to joining the Service, Ms. Schulz was an Attorney-Advisor specializing in construction contract claims with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Sacramento, CA and Frankfurt, Germany and the U.S. Postal Service Headquarters for a total of seven years. She also served as an Assistant Public Defender in Sacramento, CA, for two and a half years. (PDF)

#9. Nancy Serpa | Nancy Serpa, a retired Senior Foreign Service Officer, was appointed to the Foreign Service Grievance Board in October, 2008. She retired from the Foreign Service in April, 2007, after a year as Director of the Office of Performance Evaluation in the Bureau of Human Resources. Prior to that, she was Director of the Office of Recruitment, Examination and Employment (2001-2005) and Deputy Chief of Mission, then Charge d’affaires, in Lagos, Nigeria (1998-2001). Mrs. Serpa joined the Foreign Service in 1973, and served overseas in Cameroon and Zimbabwe, as well as in domestic positions in African Affairs. In 1988, she converted to the Civil Service, and worked in the Bureau of Congressional Relations, the Human Resources Bureau, and was Deputy Executive Director of the Bureau of African Affairs. In 1998 she was reappointed to the Foreign Service before her assignment in Nigeria.(PDF)

#10. Arthur A. Horowitz  |  Arthur A. (“Art”) Horowitz has amassed almost 50 years of diverse experience as an attorney in the fields of labor-management relations and employment discrimination law, both in the Federal and private sectors. Prior to his retirement from the Federal Labor Relations Authority in April 2001, he served as FLRA’s Settlement Judge in unfair labor practice cases, working with the parties to resolve their disputes without resort to litigation in over 82 percent of the 1000 cases referred to him. He also served as FLRA’s EEO Director during that same 6-year period, and previously was the agency’s Associate Solicitor responsible for drafting and supervising the preparation of Appellate and Supreme Court briefs as well as participating in oral arguments in defense of FLRA decisions. Before joining the FLRA as its Chief Counsel for Representation and Unfair Labor Practice Cases, he represented both labor unions and management in negotiating agreements and arbitrating contract disputes. He began his career, after graduating from Harvard Law School in 1964, with the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C. as an appellate attorney. (PDF)

#11. Cheryl M. Long | Cheryl M. Long was appointed to the Foreign Service Grievance Board in 2012. She is a retired judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, nominated by President Ronald Reagan in 1987 and serving from May 26, 1988 until her retirement in 2009. Judge Long tried cases in every division of the Superior Court: Criminal, Civil, Family, Probate, and Tax. She also has sat by designation several times on panels of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.  Judge Long served for several years in the dual roles of Presiding Judge of the Probate Division and the Tax Division. This involved adjudicating all types of fiduciary matters, determining the fair market value of commercial properties, and deciding unique questions of administrative law. In one of her several tours of duty in the Civil Division, Judge Long presided over one of the Civil I calendars, involving the most complex litigation of employment discrimination, asbestos claims, various commercial disputes, and professional malpractice cases. Her trial experience on the Civil II calendars included jury trials and non-jury trials regarding personal injury, breach of contract, demands for injunctive relief, and other types of lawsuits. (PDF)

#12. William E. Persina | Mr. Persina is a labor arbitrator specializing in federal sector labor and employment law cases. In addition to his current service as a presiding member on the Foreign Service Grievance Board, he is also the Vice-Chair of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Personnel Appeals Board, which rules on labor and employment law issues concerning GAO employees. He also is Chairman of the District of Columbia Office of Employee Appeals, which hears and decides appeals of District of Columbia government employees who have been the subject of various kinds of adverse personnel actions such as suspension, termination, or reduction in force. Mr. Persina was also the public member on the District of Columbia Police and Fire Retirement and Relief Board from 2010 to 2012. In that position, he participated in deciding disability retirement issues involving District of Columbia first responders. From 2007, when he retired from the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), to 2010 Mr. Persina was engaged in the private practice of law. (PDF)

#13. John M. Vittone  | John Vittone became a member of the Foreign Service Grievance Board in 2010 after a career of over 40 years as an attorney and a judge with the Federal Government. He joined the Department of Labor as Deputy Chief Judge in 1987, and was appointed Chief Judge in 1996. He also served as the Chair of the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals and was a liaison with other agencies within the Department of Labor, other federal agencies, and congressional offices. In 2002 and 2005, Judge Vittone led a delegation of judges, court administrators, and attorneys to Chile under the sponsorship of the Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs. In 2007 and 2009, he travelled to Beijing and Shanghai respectively to participate in Workshops on Administrative Reconsideration/Adjudication sponsored by the China Law Center of Yale University Law School. Prior to joining the Department of Labor, Judge Vittone was a judge with the Department of Transportation and Civil Aeronautics Board where he specialized in international route selection proceedings and airline mergers. (PDF)

#14. Susan R. Winfield | Susan Winfield was appointed a member of the Foreign Service Grievance Board in 2007 and has continuously served in that capacity under three different Secretaries of State. She has participated as a panel chair in the adjudication of approximately eighty-five grievance appeals.  Susan Winfield served as a trial judge of the District of Columbia Superior Court for twenty-one years before taking senior status in 2005. Judge Winfield served in the Civil, Criminal and Family Divisions of the Superior Court where she adjudicated complex criminal, civil and family matters. Judge Winfield also successfully mediated and adjudicated cases involving medical negligence, construction accidents, personal injuries, employment and labor disputes, as well as complicated domestic relations matters. She was appointed to be the Presiding Administrative Judge for the Family Division of the Court for a period of approximately three years. Judge Winfield also sat by special designation on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. She authored two appellate opinions and participated as a member of the appellate panels on four other cases heard in the Court of Appeals. Judge Winfield continues to serve part-time as a senior judge at the Superior Court on a misdemeanor community court calendar where she practices restorative justice. (PDF)

#15. Garber A. Davidson — Chairman (no FSGB bio available)

#16. Elliot H. Shaller — Deputy Chairman (no FSGB bio available)

#17. Mary H. Witt  (no FSGB bio available)

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