A Message to SCA Members re: THE END of the Federal Government Shutdown

As you must know by now, the government shutdown has officially ended! Woohoo!

We are so happy that the hundreds of SCA members who've been patiently waiting it out on federal lands across the country for the past two weeks can finally get back to doing the important work that they signed up to do!

To our members on federal lands: You guys have been great! Thanks so much for bearing with us under such odd & unfortunate circumstances.

Here's to serving & preserving the planet!

If you're currently serving on federal lands and have lingering shutdown-related questions or issues, please connect with your advisor during EST business hours, or call 603.543.7271. We're here to help!

10.08.2013

As the government shutdown prepares to enter its second week, most observers believe the earliest we will see resolution is October 17th, the deadline for congressional action on the federal debt limit.  For that reason, SCA has determined we will continue to support members at their respective sites unless their situations do not permit.

We understand that may mean another 10 days of inactivity under shutdown conditions.  If you have concerns that you cannot remain safely in place for this length of time, or that your current support – including shelter, food, communications, etc. – is inadequate given this time frame, please contact me immediately so we may develop alternate plans for you.  While we are trying to avoid sending members home, we are absolutely committed to doing what is best for you.  To that end:

  • Beginning today, SCA is implementing a Mandatory Daily Electronic Check-In.  The first step is to complete this a simple, online questionnaire that will help us determine your current status, living conditions, and preferred communication method (email, phone or text).  The link is included in today’s email.
  • Beginning tomorrow, our daily email update will include a Status Link by which you may confirm your status is unchanged or specify any new developments.  Again, providing this information – even if nothing has changed from one day to the next – is required if you wish to continue in your SCA position.
  • If we do not receive your completed online survey or daily status update, we will attempt to contact you by phone within 24 hours.  Should we be unable to reach you by phone, we will notify security personnel at your site.  Please help us avoid issuing unnecessary alerts and diverting resources from where they may be truly needed by following these new policies.  Failure to do so may result in the termination of your SCA position.

We understand that you may not have not have email or internet access.  In those cases, we will make every attempt to reach you by phone or text. 

We also want to confirm that your stipend will continue, even through another 10 days of inactivity, as long as you remain in place.  And we have confirmed with AmeriCorps that should the shutdown limit your service hours to less than the usual minimum, you will still be eligible for a pro-rated education award.

We know this is not what you signed on for at the beginning of your SCA position.  Your continued understanding and responsible behavior is greatly appreciated during this most unusual time.

If you have any concerns about staying in place, please contact your advisor immediately or use the SCA Helpline – 603.543.7271 – after hours. 

In the event of an emergency, call our 24-hour hotline 1-800-YO-SOGGY (1.800.967.6449).

For SCA Members in the Field

SCA members on federal lands are remaining in the field under the government shutdown and advised to follow their sites’ policies as this matter unfolds. 

SCA will provide for interim housing and other logistical issues that may arise. You will continue to receive your cost of living stipend, insurance and other benefits, even during the government shutdown. 

Please follow your agency partner’s directive regarding any “free-time” that you may have on public lands. You may be restricted during the shut-down from traveling within the park, forest or refugee. Please use good judgment and remain safe.

Members with questions or needs during this period should contact their advisors directly during east coast business hours. Outside of east coast business hours members should call our 24 hr Government Shutdown helpline at 603.543.7271 (shutdown-related calls only, please). If you have questions or comments, please email us.

SCA will post further updates as this matter evolves. Please know that SCA is prepared to manage this situation and minimize any impact on you. Thank you for your understanding and continued conservation service.

For Federal Partners

As we continue to monitor the government shutdown situation, federal sites requiring assistance should contact their SCA partner services coordinator or call the SCA Partner Services Hotline at 208.424.6734 ext. 7499. Thank you.

UPDATE:

A version of this message went out to all SCA members currently serving on federal lands today, Friday, 10/4.

I’m sure you aware that the government shutdown remains ongoing today –and I want you to know that SCA has assigned extra staff to the Member Helpline (603.543.7271, shutdown-related calls only, please) over the weekend to respond to any potential needs. Please note, however, that unless something breaks in the government closure, our daily email updates will not resume until Monday.

If you haven’t already, you may want to pick up enough groceries and other necessities to get through the weekend. Although most of this week has been “free time,” please be sure to use your best judgment and stay safe during any weekend activities. A staff team here at SCA is currently finalizing plans should the shutdown extend long-term and we will have more for you on this topic next week.

I’m pleased to share that our phone outreach to members today indicates all are holding up quite well under the circumstances. If you have not touched base with your advisor by 5:00pm local time today, please send your advisor an email or call the Helpline over the weekend to let us know of your status.

In closing, remember if you have any questions, you may always contact your member advisor during local business hours, use the SCA Federal Shutdown Member Helpline at 603.543.7271 after 5:00pm, or in the event of an emergency, dial our 24-hour hotline 1-800-YO-SOGGY.

Have a good weekend.

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