Washington, D.C. – Executive Director Chad Hooper of the Professional Managers Association (PMA) – formed in 1981 by IRS Managers as a national membership association representing the interests of professional managers, management officials and non-bargaining unit employees in the federal government – released the following statement responding to President Biden’s upcoming executive order mandating all federal employees receive a COVID-19 vaccine:
“PMA appreciates the Executive Order mandating all employees receive a COVID-19 vaccine as clear, consistent guidance to all employees. This is a welcome departure from the Administration’s still unrealized plan to test unvaccinated employees. The testing plan exacerbated resource constraints, lacked effective coordination between central management offices and agency leaders, and exposed managers to potential liability. We are pleased that the vaccine mandate is at least clear and realistic for agencies implementing the order,” Hooper said. “We also acknowledge that this order is well-timed since the Pfizer vaccine has received full FDA approval. Americans should feel much more confident and comfortable getting the vaccine. For those who qualify for exemptions, we will work with the Administration to ensure those exemptions are available and honored.”
“To make this mandate more comforting to federal employees, PMA urges the administration to allow Federal Occupational Health (FOH) Centers to carry a COVID-19 vaccine supply. Many IRS workers rely on FOH Centers to get their annual flu vaccine and may feel more comfortable obtaining this type of care from someone they already trust,” Hooper furthered.
“As an association representing IRS leaders, it is our view that the Federal workforce should defer to the expertise of our peers across government. As we would expect our colleagues at the CDC and FDA to trust our tax expertise, so too we expect the IRS workforce to trust their medical expertise,” Hooper continued. “However, given that a portion of the workforce may still not be able to get vaccinated, this order will not resolve PMA's outstanding concerns on implementing routine testing. Currently, no plan is in place to test the Civil Service and the IRS still lacks a coherent contact tracing protocol.”
“We insist that the White House COVID Response Team proactively engage Federal management associations to hear and address our specific concerns relating to implementing this first-of-its-kind mandate. No vaccine has ever been mandated across the Civil Service as a condition of employment and career Federal managers face personal civil liability arising from inevitable claims of medical, religious, and political discrimination. PMA feels that its legitimate legal concerns are minimized and brushed aside by members of the current administration who seem concerned solely with issuing guidance from DC absent the perspective of career managers working in hundreds of posts-of-duty throughout our nation and around the world,” Hooper concluded.