GSA Head Signs '5-Star' Guard, Reserve Support Agreement
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, July 21, 2005 The General Services Administration certified its commitment to GSA employees serving in the nation's reserve component forces July 20, as the federal agency's chief signed a "5-Star" statement of support here.
Stephen A. Perry, GSA administrator, signed the agreement at the organization's headquarters.
Besides serving as a public demonstration of GSA's support, said Bob Hollingsworth, executive director of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, the document confirms that GSA:
- Promises to safeguard job positions, support continuation of medical and dental benefits for family members, grant leaves of absence for military service without penalty of lost vacation time to those employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve, to the extent allowed under applicable laws.
- Ensures men and women who serve in the Guard and Reserve will not be denied employment with GSA nor will there be limited or reduced job and career opportunities due to service in the Guard or Reserve.
- Is an advocate for employee service in the National Guard and Reserve.
"Today, supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation's National Guard and Reserve units," Hollingsworth said. "I am asking all of America's employers to review and amended their current human resources policies to ensure compliance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act law.
"This is a significant event not only for the GSA, but (also) for all federal civil service employees", he continued. "The federal government is one of the largest employers of National Guardsmen and Reservists in the country."
Perry praised the GSA's reserve component employees. "We are indebted to those GSA associates serving in the National Guard and Reserve," he said. "When they are called to active military service, they need to know that while they are protecting our country, their families' health benefits are continued and their jobs are secure. As they protect our way of life, we protect their way of life."
During the ceremony, Perry cited GSA's Southeast-Sunbelt Region with the "Caring Award"for its GSA Call-up Assistance and Real Expressions of Support Program. Led by volunteers, this program offers associates the opportunity to actively express their support and gratitude to GSA associates called up to active military duty in the region.
GSA is a centralized federal procurement, property management and policy agency created by Congress to improve government efficiency and help federal agencies better serve the public. It acquires, on behalf of federal agencies, office space, equipment, telecommunications, information technology, supplies and services. It also plays a key role in developing and implementing government wide policies.
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve is a DoD agency established in 1972. Its mission is to gain and maintain active support from all public and private employers for the men and women of the National Guard and Reserve. ESGR volunteers provide free education, consultation and, if necessary, mediation for employers of Guard and Reserve employees.
(From an Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve news release.)