NATIONAL OSHECCOM MEETING Air Traffic Organization OWCP Return to Work Program Wanda Reyna Acting Director, Workforce Services October 28, 2004
BACKGROUND & HISTORY OF ATO OWCP RTW PROGRAM • DOT OIG issued report January 2003 criticizing the legacy Air Traffic Services organization for not managing its OWCP program. • ATS put together a cross organization team to develop a plan of action to assess the program and what actions could be taken. • Developed an action plan to visit all Dept. of Labor district offices to review files and determine of the 3700+ cases, those that we could possibly return to work. • Briefed ATS Management and they concurred with establishing a pool of positions controlled in headquarters to allocate for placement of OWCP recipients. • Began visits to DOL district offices March 2003. • Expanded program to incorporate all cases in legacy Research and Acquisition organization March 2004.
PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS TO DATE • Have met with DOL officials for all district offices with corporate AHR OWCP program office. • Have reviewed all DOL files on those individuals we believe can possibly return to work. • Consulted with AHR OWCP specialists on actions • Some required updated medical information • Some changed status to permanently disabled. • Began to ‘work’ cases to return OWCP recipients to work • Goal is to contain or reduce costs where possible and gain some productivity from those capable of returning. • Secondary goal is to educate managers on importance of returning individuals to work and to educate DOL examiners about the FAA and its occupations.
WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED? • The most important action we can take as an organization is to appropriately represent to DOL the conditions surrounding the injury. • Timeliness and completeness for submitting injury reports. • Returning employees to the work site as quickly as possible whether in the position they were injured in or other duties, to speed their recovery and rehabilitation. • Staying in constant contact with injured employees so they know and understand we want them back as soon as they are able. • We must look beyond the work the injured employee had been assigned to and see how we might utilize their skills in another part of our organization; e.g. ATCS become Logistics Management Specialists, WG employees become Management Analyst, etc. • Helps to educate claims examiners and adjudicators with DOL to better understand the occupations in our organization.
COSTS OF OWCP TO ATO • Costs from DOL charge back for last fiscal year approximately $87 million • We have returned 18 claimants to work in the ATO, 28 to 66 years of age, at a lifetime cost avoidance of $38.3 million. • We have terminated 2 OWCP compensation due to declination of job offer at a lifetime cost savings of $4.7 million • Two OWCP claimants have opted for OPM retirement at a lifetime cost savings of $3.6 million • We have captured lost productivity hours for ATCS for traumatic injuries from our Staffing Cost Analysis Tool that indicates: 2003 Leave Year 2004 Leave Year thru 7/24/04 37,128 hrs. 19,882 hrs.
ATO COMMITMENT TO SHARE • Working to educate DOL examiners about FAA occupations and facilities through publications and escorting them to field facility visits. • Aggressively working with Office of Aviation Medicine to assure that allegations or trauma are dealt with from a medical perspective. • Added hearing examination as part of pre-employment physical for technical workforce to establish hearing baseline per OSHA and American Academy of Audiology to establish baseline for loss of hearing claims. • Developed a screen for Incident reporting under SMIS to track injuries and capture backfill overtime costs attributed to injury and OWCP claims.
WORK TO BE DONE • Continue to educate managers and supervisors. • Develop an action plan to address OWCP issues associated with short-term injury claims. • Push for timely filing of all claims information and incident reports.