Compromise Ends 10-Year Battle Over Child Care
MACON, Ga. (AP) _ A decade of bargaining between the Air Force Logistics Command and a federal workers’ union has ended with the military offering child care to the command’s 83,000 civilian employees nationwide.
The Association of Federal Government Employees since 1978 had sought Air Force funding for union-operated day care for children of civilian AFLC employees.
The agreement gives control to the Air Force, which by October will expand its existing AFLC child-care facilities and offer them to all families of civilian workers. Families of uniformed personnel in the Air Force, as in other services, have had access to subsidized day care for decades.
The initial cost of expanding the service, which officials won’t disclose, will be borne by the Air Force. Operating costs for civilian child care will be paid by parents who enroll their children, and service fees will be set by each base, according to officials at the command’s headquarters at Wright- Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.
The agreement was reached Feb. 27 with little publicity. On Monday the Macon Telegraph & News ran an account of how the agreement will affect the command’s 15,100 employees at Robins Air Force Base in central Georgia.
At Robins, 20 civilians are on a waiting list for day care, which accommodates 32 children of civilians along with 142 dependents of military personnel, said base commander Billy Edenfield.
The first priority for on-base child care has been for military families, and just 1,000 children of civilian workers are enrolled in the AFLC centers nationwide, said AFLC spokesman Ken Perrotte.
Along with Robins, expanded day-care centers will be established at five air logistics centers: Ogden, Utah; Sacramento, Calif.; Oklahoma City; and San Antonio.
Under the agreement, child care for civilians also will be offered at Wright-Patterson and the Aerospace Guidance and Meteorology Center at Newark AFB in Ohio.
″This has been an important issue for our command, and I’m very pleased we were able to work this out in a manner that will best serve not only the Air Force and the AFGE, but also our children,″ said Gen. Alfred Hansen, who became AFLC commander in August 1987.