Mr. John Manfreda and Ms. Mary Ryan held a Town Hall Meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio with NRC Employees immediately before the annual awards ceremony on July 12, 2011. Both had met with Chapter President, G. Renee’ Yankey the day before to discuss some of the issues that would be discussed.
Both Mr. Manfreda and Ms. Ryan were open and honest with the chapter and the employees regarding our budgetary situation. I’m sure this did not come as a surprise to the employees since these issues have been raised regarding government budget(s) on the news and in the papers. However, the employees and the chapter appreciated the opportunity to have an open and honest discussion on how this will impact our agency and our mission. They were very brave coming face to face with the affected employees and allowing an open Q&A session on the issues. They answered every question with honesty and respect for the employees.

Since our agency has been working with fewer and fewer resources for a long time, it will be extremely difficult for us to find ways to make the necessary cuts without negatively impacting our mission and the industry. We have had discussions on closing more office space and incorporating more flex-i-place to save funds spent on leasing space, entertained other ideas on how to streamline some of the work with an eye on automating as much as possible, etc. , however, we still have more to cut and need your help. This effort has been discussed between the chapter and management and this challenge is offered in the spirit of partnership.

So here’s the challenge. While attempting to cut the budget as required, we are aiming to keep as high a level of quality of customer service as is feasibly possible and at the same time maintaining the core values of our mission. We need any and all ideas to be brought forward
by every employee, bargaining unit or not, to help us formulate plans so that the Agency as a whole will meet the challenge and perform as well as possible in accomplishing these goals in these trying times. Considering the shortage of employees we are starting with and the fact that as people leave, not all positions will be refilled, we will be required to more with less, but if we work together, this can be accomplished.

This is a time to come together and work toward a common goal, the good of the mission and service to the industry we regulate. I know this may be difficult, but I have faith that we can work together and achieve what may seem impossible and meet the challenge.

The next partnership meeting will be held on July 26 -27, 2011 and many issues regarding this challenge will be discussed then, but this will be an ongoing challenge for all of us to participate. Please do not hesitate to submit ideas you may have to cut spending with as minimal negative impact to the mission as possible. You can do this either using the suggestion boxes or by contacting a union representative.

I look forward to seeing many ideas come forward and working with everyone on this challenge.