Panel to Impose IRS RIF Plan

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An outside panel will decide how the IRS will conduct its reduction-in-force later this spring because the agency and its union could not agree on a plan.

The IRS and the National Treasury Employees Union reached an impasse on more than 60 points of contention Friday after months of negotiations on the fate of up to 1,600 IRS employees who face layoffs during a reorganization of the agency's field offices. So the Federal Service Impasses Panel will impose a settlement.

The union has opposed the layoffs, saying they are unnecessary because the agency plans to hire many new workers to replace laid-off employees.

The IRS has said it will try to find a way to place employees whose positions are eliminated, though it admits not every employee will be able to be accommodated because many would have to relocate.

Joe Schimansky, executive director of the Federal Service Impasses Panel, said today they would impose a settlement "as quickly as we can."

Schimansky added, however, that the panel would carefully weigh the arguments on both sides.

"We have to do things by the book," he said.

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