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Feedback Fridays

By Brig. Gen. Laura L. Lenderman | 502d Air Base Wing Commander | May 22, 2020

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas —

Feedback Fridays is a weekly forum that aims to connect the 502d Air Base Wing with members of the Joint Base San Antonio community. Questions are collected during commander’s calls, town hall meetings and throughout the week.

If you have a question or concern, please send an email to RandolphPublicAffairs@us.af.mil using the subject line “Feedback Fridays.” Questions will be further researched and published as information becomes available.

Installation & Facilities

Q. I really appreciate your leadership and friendship! My question is, why have the flower shops at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, JBSA-Lackland and JBSA-Randolph been closed for operations?

A. Thank you very much for your kind words! Regarding the flower shops, our AAFES concession partner chose not to renew their contract due to low demand and decreased customer traffic. AAFES is currently working with new vendors to expand their capabilities and gain more customer throughput. We hope to have more updates to share in the future

Q. My question concerns mail delivery. When our daughter was in week 4 of Basic Military Training at JBSA-Lackland, I subscribed to Sandboxx, which guarantees next-day delivery of mail.

When we spoke to our daughter on the phone, she told us that she had only received two of the 10 letters that I had sent her in the last 10 days. I know that there have been disruptions caused by COVID-19, and by the related fact that she transferred from a temporary flight and dorm to a permanent one.

Nonetheless, I would think that it is not too hard to get a letter to an Airman on base within no more than a day or two after its arrival. This standard does not appear to have been met. Is there any information that you can provide me on this matter?

A. Thank you very much for your feedback. I sincerely apologize for the delay in mail delivery. Even with COVID-19 operations, there should not have been a disruption in JBSA mail service.

In accordance with postal instructions and directives, we have 24 hours to place received mail in the appropriate students’ postal boxes or in the designated organizational AO boxes. Our postal contractor sorts all BMT mail and places them in the designated training squadron distribution mailbox. MTIs then pick up and distribute the mail to assigned Airmen.

Even with guaranteed delivery, there is still a process that our Post Offices must follow before mail is delivered, especially to our trainees which may have contributed to the delays. Again, I apologize for the inconvenience, but we appreciate the feedback!

Miscellaneous

Q. I have two children with special needs who receive respite care through the EFMP respite program. The program was recently brought in-house after being outsourced for some time.

Our respite provider brought it to my attention that she and all the other providers nationwide were grossly underpaid in the month of November (up to $40/hour less than what they were promised).

A number of weeks ago, their point of contact told them the situation would be rectified within a week, but to date, they have not been paid and their contactors are no longer responding to emails or phone calls.

I have spoken to multiple respite providers that are considering leaving the program and as a result, leaving a number of military families with special needs family members without respite care.

We are counting on this program and its success and it really reflects poorly that since being brought in house, it isn’t running as it should.

A. Thank you very much for sharing your concerns. I also share your concerns and asked my team to research this issue. I learned that while our Installation Family Child Care Coordinators do not have the capability or rights to review the Respite Care Providers timesheets and submission, the Respite Care Providers program managers are located at Air Force Services Center.

I’ve asked our team to reach out to the services center to help rectify this issue. However, in the future, if you have any additional questions or concerns, please reach out to the AFSVC/SVPY Respite Care Providers POCs: Jessa Stone, Lisa Martinez and Erin Lopez. They can all be reached at AFFCCSystem.Admin-02@us.af.mil

Q. I am writing to ask for assistance with the MyBiz Disability section.

Currently, when it comes to having multiple disabilities, there is only a single choice of a disability available to choose from and the only other alternative for a person with multiple qualifying disabilities on that list is to select “I do not wish to identify my disability or serious health condition.”

Problem Identified: Choosing the option to not disclose a disability may not be the truth for some people, but choosing only one disability is not the whole truth either for other people. That is why this is a problem that needs serious attention brought to it in order to fix it.

Is there a way to add a function to select more than one disability on our profile? Or is there a way to add a button that says, “I suffer from multiple disabilities listed here” and then add a space to let the person list the other disabilities?

A. Thank you very much for your question. I am committed to ensuring a fair and inclusive workplace environment for our teammates with disabilities.

The SF-256 (Self-Identification of Disability) was recently revised to assist organizations in monitoring the hiring, development and retention of Federal employees with disabilities, including targeted disabilities. Unfortunately, the SF-256 does not allow for the input of more than one disability.

In October 2016, the Office of Personnel Management modified the form to reflect changes to terms used to describe targeted disabilities, serious health conditions, and other disabilities which in turn simplified the description of conditions and provided employees with options to identify that they have a medical condition without specifying a diagnosis.

While completion of this form remains voluntary, the collection and/or update of this information assists employers in gaining a broader understanding of their diverse workforce. The information being collected from this document assists employers in identifying the percentage of employees who have a disability and those with a targeted disability.

JBSA employees are voluntarily requested to update their disability on an annual basis in order to provide the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) with data. We ask each individual who might have more than one disability to identify a “targeted” disability over a disability. If you have several disabilities, we ask you to identify just one.