“Life-work balance” = The lousy ones get “life” (and pay), the good ones get work (and the same pay).Andrew Thilghman provides a little detail on where this cynicism comes from.
Whenever I hear “work/life balance” it usually means I have to work so someone else can have a life.
Some shore commands in the Norfolk, Va., area report that up to 34 percent of their billets are filled by pregnant sailors, and commanders are complaining about a “lack of proper manning to conduct their mission,” according to a Naval Inspector General report.Seen that for 20 years, now it is getting worse. That's OK though - this will make you feel a lot better.
The spike in pregnant sailors assigned to some units comes after the Navy changed its rules for handling mothers-to-be. And it’s compounded by a baby boomlet in the Navy community.
When sailors on sea duty become pregnant, they are transferred to shore-based commands that fit certain criteria, such as being close to a Navy medical center. The length of that assignment changed in June 2007, when the Navy extended the postpartum tour from four months after a child’s birth to 12 months. Combined with a nine-month pregnancy, that puts expectant mothers on limited duty for up to 21 months.
Now, shore industrial and aviation commands say they are receiving more pregnant sailors — from 15 percent to 34 percent of authorized billets, in some cases — who are unable to fulfill essential duties because of their pregnancy, according to the IG.
“If pregnancy trends remain constant, the new pregnancy distribution policy could have over 2,500 sailors counting against shore duty commands in ratings where they are not able to conduct mission-essential work within industrial or hazardous material-type conditions,”
“The current pregnancy and parenthood policy represents our enduring commitment to maintaining and improving a healthy life/work balance for our Navy family. Officials and Navy Personnel Command and Fleet Forces Command are reviewing the issue paper provided by the IG following their visit to Hampton Roads in April 2009,” Navy Personnel Command said in a written statement.A tempest in a teapot? Hmmmm...
Since shore assignments for pregnant sailors were extended two years ago, pregnancies Navy-wide have increased. The number of women leaving deploying units to have children rose from 1,770 in June 2006 to 3,125 as of Aug. 1.Who do I think of? I think of that YN2 coming off of sea duty into an IA who is then told that there are no shore duty billets in Norfolk for him and he will need to move his family to Lemore. I also think of that 3rd Class that had a child, then in a few months got pregnant again, and then again.
Kids are great; but the Navy needs to realize it is not GE. Actions have consequences. How many Sailors do we need that cannot deploy when we have a shortage of Sailors on underway units?