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FSLRB Rules in AFSA's Favor in 2015/16 MSI Cases
February 2, 2021
2:40 pm
Tish Butler
Forum Posts: 59
Member Since:
April 22, 2016
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The American Foreign Service Association is extremely pleased to announce that on January 19, 2021 the Foreign Service Labor Relations Board (FSLRB) ruled in AFSA’s favor so that those who were ranked by the 2015 and 2016 selection boards to receive a Meritorious Service Increases (MSIs) will now also receive the monetary component of the award.  

In a split decision, two members of the FSLRB ruled in AFSA’s favor while the Chair of the Board, appointed by the former Administration, dissented.  As there is no appeal in this type of case, AFSA believes the Department is now legally required to retroactively pay the 2015 and 2016 MSIs, with interest, to affected employees.  Individuals who are expected to benefit from the FSLRB’s decision are those who were identified as “… demonstrating potential to serve at higher levels” in Department cables announcing the 2015 and 2016 promotion lists.  While the calculation of backpay can be complicated and time consuming, we will urge the Department to move forward expeditiously.  As of this writing, the Department has advised AFSA that it is reviewing the FSLRB’s decision. 

The 2015 and 2016 cases are the last of four implementation disputes AFSA filed based on the Department’s decision not to award any MSIs, or to award a smaller percentage of MSIs than called for in AFSA’s collective bargaining agreements (i.e., the selection board procedural precepts) with the Department.  AFSA prevailed in the 2013 MSI dispute and over 550 individuals received retroactive MSIs or adjustments to their annuities if retired.  Unfortunately, while the Foreign Service Grievance Board ruled in AFSA’s favor in the 2014 dispute, the FSLRB reversed this decision. 

AFSA’s Labor Management team has devoted hundreds of hours over the past six years litigating MSI cases to make certain our members and all Foreign Service employees get what is rightfully theirs.  As a result of AFSA’s efforts in this dispute, over 1,000 Foreign Service employees have received or are expected to receive a permanent increase to their salaries or annuities if retired.  These are your AFSA dues at work.  ”If you have any questions about this matter, please write AFSA at

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