Weekly Updates

Back to School, Vaccines, & Other Updates

August 27, 2021
FEEA Announces Continuation of Virtual Tutoring for 2021-2022 School Year

This week, PMA's official charity FEEA announced that it will continue its tutoring program this fall. The program offers up to 1,000 minutes of free, on-demand, virtual tutoring through Tutor.com for students in grades K-12. To be eligible for the program, a student must have a Federal employee parent who earns $75,000 or less per year. In addition to this program, FEEA will continue to support Feds seriously impacted by the pandemic. A combination of no-fee, no-interest loans and hardship grants will continue to be available to feds who experience LWOP due to their own or an immediate family member’s serious illness, and bereavement grants will also be available to feds who lose a parent, spouse, or child to COVID, or to the surviving family member of a civilian federal or postal employee who passes away. You can subscribe to FEEA's newsletter to stay informed of new programs and changes.

PMA's Heartland Chapter Leads Food Drive

A big shout out to the Kansas City Service Center and PMA's Heartland Chapter for organizing a peanut butter and jelly food collection for the Grandview Assistance Program. Together, PMA and IRS donated several hundred pounds of nonperishable food to the local food pantry. Congratulation to ERS Team 36410 and their manager Angela Splain who donated more than 90 jars of PB&J!

President Transmits Letters Formalizing Federal Pay Increases for 2022

On Friday, President Biden took the final necessary step to secure pay increases for the Federal workforce. In formal notifications to Speaker Pelosi and Vice President Harris, the President announced a 2.2% pay increased and a 0.5% average locality pay increase (2.7%). PMA is continuing to monitor pending legislation in the House to further increase pay by an addition 0.5% and will keep our members informed of any progress.

Professional Development Opportunities

We know it's a challenge to balance your work and personal obligations with scheduled development sessions so here are a few one-hour courses you can view at any time, you can start and stop them as you need to, and hopefully these flexibilities mean you can continue to sharpen your leadership skills even as you juggle so many competing priorities.

Leading Hybrid Teams: You’ve likely seen headlines from recent studies like “Flexible work is here to stay!” and “40% of workers will consider quitting if they have to come back to the office full time.” An overwhelming 73% of employees are demanding flexible work, yet 67% also want more in-person work and collaboration. As offices reopen and organizations explore new work arrangements, are you ready for the reality of hybrid teams? Prepare for this inevitable “great compromise” with the right mindset and skills. In this webinar, you will explore building collaboration and shared vision for a hybrid workplace; five skills leaders need to motivate, support, and drive performance of remote and hybrid teams; and creating a culture of fairness, trust, and inclusion to support a true flexible work arrangement.

Coaching Culture: It’s no secret that it’s difficult to stay current with the skills needed to survive in the digital workplace. That’s why it’s crucial that we maintain a strong leadership coaching culture from executives down to the frontline. And that’s not just one-way coaching – people need to be able to coach their peers, and occasionally even their bosses. In this webinar, you’ll explore the value (and supporting research) around the 4 types of coaching; the importance of emotional intelligence in coaching; what foundations you need in place to foster a coaching culture; and new technologies and approaches to help develop coaching skills faster. Walk away with powerful techniques to develop your coaching skills so you can begin reaping the rewards of a coaching culture.

How Leaders Keep Employees Engaged: Everyone knows that leaders are the biggest driver to improve employee engagement. In times of disruption, leaders need to maintain morale and focus. When companies are faced with a crisis, it's even more critical for leaders to engage their teams—especially when they are anxious and overwhelmed. Engaging teams is difficult enough—and now leaders can only connect with employees virtually. How can leaders maintain focus and energy to emerge stronger on the other side of this crisis? And while all the buzz is on the employee experience, organizations are at risk of overlooking the need to engage leaders, too. How can leaders engage employees if they themselves are disengaged? How can you make sure that leaders feel closely connected with the purpose and vision of the organization, and feel ready to rally their teams to move forward? In this webinar, you will explore perspectives and solutions on what leaders can do to engage their teams—right now and in the next normal; why empathy and emotional intelligence are essential skills for all levels of leaders; and common pitfalls that can derail leaders and disengage others.

COVID-19 Vaccinations and Attestations

This week, the two-dose Pfizer Comirnaty vaccination received full FDA approval for patients 16 and up. If you’re not vaccinated, PMA joins the IRS in strongly encouraging you to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible to protect yourself – not just in the workplace, but also at home. The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force released updated FAQs to clarify leave guidance relating to vaccines. To help you manage challenges associated with the pandemic, the IRS centralized information about COVID-19 leave and work schedule flexibilities.

Regardless of your vaccination status, you and your team need to sign into HRConnect and voluntarily attest to your vaccination status or decline to do so. For those of you who go to the office at all, you have until September 3rd to do so, for those of you on 100% telework or who are otherwise not going to the building at all, you have until September 10th. If your vaccination status changes, please be sure to update your status in HRConnect. You can follow these step-by-step instructions to meet your obligation. Should you choose to attest to your status, please keep in mind that you are doing so under penalty of perjury.

PMA In the News

This week, PMA continued its work advocating for additional clarity, support, and resources for managers. With Congress in recess, we joined our colleagues in the Government Managers Coalition in a letter to OPM, GSA, and the White House COVID Response Team expressing our concern that the administration is not meeting the unique needs of Federal managers left to implement pandemic-related directives. We have heard from managers across the country who have concerns about resources, guidance, training, support, and more when it comes to the new testing and vaccination mandates.

Your concerns are not unique to the IRS – through our coalition outreach, we’ve learned that managers at SSA are performing frontline employee work in addition to their leadership responsibilities. Our colleagues at FMA have been left to make tough choices between sending employees home who refuse to follow rules or having sufficient staffing to maintain the nation’s nuclear infrastructure. At the FAA, social distancing is an impossibility as air traffic control towers are small spaces and the work cannot be performed remotely. Together, we’ve taken our challenges to the media. PMA is also working to be sure taxpayers understand that current legislation pending in the House is another expansion of the IRS’s mission without funding, modernization, or resources.

Weekly updates