Weekly Updates

An Important Win & Other Updates

October 2, 2020
A Message from Our Sponsor: Benefit Planning Inc.

PMA financial planner, Wade Guemmer, shared the attached election year investment guide. The guide provides a helpful walkthrough the market volatility unique to an election year. As a benefit of your membership with PMA, Wade will meet with you one-on-one to provide advice at no cost on how to maximize your federal benefits now and into retirement. Please click here to email Wade and schedule your consultation!

An Important Win for Our Association

The IRS announced this week that it will increase its performance award allocation from the current 1% to the maximum 2% of salaries for FY21. Former PMA National President Mike Leszcz was deeply passionate about this issue and helped ensure PMA had a seat at the table when the IRS took another look at how our performance pay is structured. PMA insisted that the agency should exercise the discretion is had to increase the pool to 2% of salaries. We are grateful to OPM for demonstrating the need to increase spending on awards and bonuses, as well to our friends at Treasury who emphasized the importance of rewarding performance. Thank you Mike for starting this conversation and contributing to a change in the culture around compensation.

Would you like to lead a PMA Local Chapter?

PMA’s National Board is looking for members in California, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Ohio who are willing to consider serving as chapter president. We’re also always happy to hear from members who’d like to found a local chapter in their area. Local chapters are active around the country and work with local executives, FEBs, and GLCs to promote the interests of management. Chapter presidents also attend national calls quarterly with the National Board. The time commitment is minimal and it’s a great way to improve conditions in your office! If you or someone you know is interested, please reply to our newsletter and we will connect you with resources to get started.

Become A Member

There’s never been a more important time to become a PMA member. Our voice is becoming louder and our leaders are listening. Through our consultative relationship with IRS HQ, we’ve worked to resolve questions, concerns, and inconsistencies around performance pay, leave administration, professional liability, retirement, safety, and leadership succession to name only a few. We are working diligently to strengthen our existing relationships throughout the IRS and to develop new relationships throughout government and with our sponsors so that we can grow our impact. We do all of this and more for a mere $3.50 per pay period – the best bargain I’ve seen in my career. I ask each of you to encourage your peers in the non-bargaining unit to consider signing up using the attached form. If you know a retiree who would benefit from our advocacy, we offer lifetime memberships to them for a one-time $100 payment. Membership also comes with many benefits such as discounted rates from our sponsors GEICO and FEDS Protection.

A Message from Our Sponsor: FedPoint US

Our friends at FedPoint USA have put together a free series of webinars to help you make the most of your benefits during this upcoming open season. Topics include Planning for Long Term Care, Dental Health; Optimizing Your Wellness While Teleworking; and many more. Please see the attachment for a full menu with descriptions of each topic. To sign up for a free webinar, please click here.

No-Cost Professional Development Opportunities

Attend a no-cost presentation on long term care insurance on October 1st, offered by the IRS. Click here for registration information.

The Partnership for Public Service’s annual Customer Experience Summit will be held virtually on October 6th from 9-10:30AM Eastern. This year, IRS’s very own Jim Clifford is one of the panelists! Jim leads the Taxpayer First Act Office’s Customer Service Strategy as well as our Customer Experience/Service Delivery Modernization Team. The panel will discuss why customer experience is a top priority for their organizations, and the strategies they are using to understand and meet customer needs during the pandemic. Register here.

On October 8 from 1-2PM Eastern, the Engagement office will host Darrell White, Director of IT Enterprise Program Management Office, CADE and DevOps Practice. Darrell will present 4 Pillars of Success – Showcasing Leadership in Actions (Part 1). Read more

OPM’s Center for Leadership Development recently announced its FY21 courses for registration. As a reminder, PMA members can request grants to help mitigate the cost of training that furthers your leadership career. OPM also worked to create online versions of more than 40 of their most popular courses. Click here to view the schedule. If you missed a webinar and want to view the slides and presentation information, click here.

Please Consider Supporting FEEA in CFC

The Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund relies on our support to continue its mission of helping federal employees and their families in times of need. This year, FEEA has continued to support PMA’s scholarship program while sustaining its grant-making and loan-making assistance to those of us in need of a helping hand. NTEU and PMA are both dedicated supporters of FEEA and its mission, and the Fund has worked behind the scenes during this pandemic to provide direct assistance to IRS families when an employee passes away. Please view the attached list of FEEA’s COVID-19 resources. The Fund is a strong, vocal advocate for civil servants and recently joined us in pressing the Congress for relief from the payroll tax deferral.

Currently, FEEA is working to support feds affected by the recent wildfires. If you need help, click here. To support FEEA in the current CFC round, look for CFC #11185. Click here to join the 2020 giving campaign!

Due to their generosity, we still have face coverings available through FEEA. They’re offering to send a cloth face covering to anyone who must return to work in a space with other employees and/or the public. Register here to receive a complimentary face covering. If you would like to place a bulk order of those masks for your team or department, please let me know. FEEA has provided hundreds of masks to IRS managers and their teams for free!

We’ve also included FEEA’s recent newsletter in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. More than 300,000 people (not only women!) are affected by this disease every single year. Learn about the risk factors, treatment options, and ongoing research in the attachment.

HCO Updates

Attend Labor Relations Boot Camp! Throughout October, LR On Demand will feature a new course on LR roles and responsibilities, performance management, grievances, and more. Read more

Flu shot season is here! We on the PMA National Board urge you to consider visiting your doctor or local pharmacy for a complimentary flu shot using your FEHB. For those of you reporting into an office at this time, FOH will offer flu shots as they’ve done in the past. Our ask is that those of you teleworking do what you can to avoid going to the office for this vaccine. We understand that for some people, they will need to see the FOH nurse for that and that’s ok. We just want to encourage you to minimize your visits to a POD because of the risk it brings to those who must report to the office.

The Executive Readiness Program (XR) announcement will open October 13-26 this year. If you’re eager to take that next step, be sure to start working on your ECQs today!

Now that FY21 is underway, you’ll notice new required training for managers on performance management policy. ITM Course 77731 will be completed by all managers this year and then will repeat every other year to ensure our skills are always sharp. Read more

Paid parental leave is here! This new benefit went into effect on 10/1 for new parents giving birth to, adopting, or fostering a child. This benefit provides 12 weeks of paid leave and HCO will issue more communications next week so stay tuned!

The 2020 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) and Supplemental Survey for seasonal employees began Tuesday, September 15, 2020 and will close on October 27, 2020. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) emailed invitations to employees to take the survey. Please convey your support for the FEVS and encourage employees to take the survey.

Please encourage your teams to take a moment to complete the Climate Pulse Survey each week here: Link to Survey. In the most recent data, we learned that employees are very anxious about the continued state of teleworking during the pandemic. Per the Commissioner’s message, we will remain home for the foreseeable future. We are very fortunate at IRS to be led by many telework-friendly executives! If you’re heading to the office, please be sure to wear an appropriate face covering. As a reminder, face coverings with a exhalation valve or those with a hole for using a straw are unacceptable as they fail to adequately protect those around you.

News From Washington

The President signed a continuing resolution into law midday yesterday. The CR will carry us through December 11th. We will continue our work on the Hill to ensure a stable appropriation that provides certainty through FY21. We are also continuing our work to advocate for parity with the military’s pay increase in 2021.

On Monday, OMB issued a memo clarifying its previous memo on the anti-racism training prohibition. The memo expands the EDI-related training that our agency must now discontinue, including any training containing the keyword “unconscious bias.” As a result, our agency’s EDI office has suspended all training while it undertakes a review of all offerings. The memo also directs all employees to report to TIGTA any agency-sponsored training session violating the memo. PMA is committed to leadership excellence and we are stressing to all that IRS’s EDI course offerings and menu of EDI presentations are important, relevant, thoughtful, and necessary – especially in the current moment.

We are continuing to work with OMB and OPM on opening an Emergency Leave Transfer Program (ELTP) for caregivers who must balance work with their family obligations during the pandemic. We are happy to see that NTEU has been pressuring OPM alongside us and we look forward to finding ways we can work together with NTEU on matters important to each of our constituencies.

Weekly updates