Weekly Updates

Complimentary Professional Development Opportunities & Other Updates

April 16, 2021
Join PMA in Celebrating FEEA's 35th Birthday

PMA's official charity, the Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund (FEEA) is celebrating its 35th anniversary. The Feds In Motion 35 Challenge kicks off Public Service Recognition Week and is all about moving in your favorite way — walk, run, bike, swim, or roll on your favorite route — to reach the goal of 35 miles (or more!) in 35 days. Click here to register for the celebration. If you have coworkers or friends who haven't registered yet, please make sure they know April 20th is the last day to guarantee a t-shirt in your swag package. Of course, you can join us in our celebration after April 20th but we won't be able to promise a preferred style and/or size of shirt - once they're gone, they're gone.

As a reminder, Challenge registrants will receive t-shirts, participation medals, digital bibs, an easy tool to upload your mileage anytime to the leaderboard, digital finisher certificates, fun digital badges for mileage milestones and fundraising achievements, special Wellness Wednesday events with prize drawings, other cool swag from our sponsors, and prizes for top fundraisers. Be sure to sign up today!

PMA Updates

This week, PMA continued working on updating our association in preparation for our 40th anniversary and met frequently with our web designers. To prepare for our email server changeover, please add our @promanager.org email domain to your Outlook Safe Senders list so that our messages don't end up in your junk/spam folder. Please find instructions attached to help you add PMA to your list.

We also met with some key sponsors to build relationships and deliver our members more in the coming year. Stay tuned for some exciting updates as we move through the spring!

Understand the Federal Retirement System - Especially If You've Been Misclassified

This week, Federal benefits expert Tammy Flanagan put out a column to help everyone understand the three Federal retirement systems. The column aims to show how the Civil Service Retirement System, the CSRS Offset, and the Federal Employees Retirement System were all designed to provide complete retirement and disability benefits for federal workers, but in very different ways. Certainly worth the read - click here to learn more.

News From Washington

The CDC published much anticipated guidance for the Federal workforce around workplace safety and COVID testing. While we don't anticipate much impact for our members, we want you to have all of the latest information. You can read more in the Washington Post (article attached in case you aren't a subscriber).

The CDC has also been publishing and refining guidance for those of us who were lucky to be vaccinated. The messaging is complicated because there is still so much we don't know about this virus and the efficacy of the vaccines. This article discusses what's safe to do now that you're vaccinated.

The MSPB put out data indicating that within-grade increases (WGIs or step increases) are withheld in only 1 of every 1,000 cases. We encourage you to review the National Agreement as well as resources on iManage about WGIs and why/when you need to withhold them. It is every manager's responsibility to follow this process to promote fairness and consistency across the government.

Complimentary Professional Development Opportunities

On Tuesday April 20th, OPM and the Schools of the Federal Academic Alliance are hosting their Spring 2021 Federal Government Virtual Education & Professional Development Symposium. It's an all-day event from 9AM-6PM Eastern Time. Click here to register and learn more.

Also on Tuesday April 20th, from 3PM-4PM Eastern Time, FranklinCovey is hosting a free webinar on the four essential roles of leadership. Click here to register and learn more.

On Thursday April 22nd, from 1PM-5PM Eastern Time, join the 11th CX Summit, hosted by Government Executive, Nextgov, and Route Fifty. They're teaming up to explore how government has combined technological innovation and organizational culture to rethink how to serve its customers. From crisis communication to digital services, they'll offer a playbook for federal and state and local agencies can continue to make strides in their customer experiences throughout the year. Click here to preview the agenda. Click here to register.

Also on Thursday April 22nd, from 11AM-12PM Eastern Time, the Partnership for Public Service's Center for Presidential Transition and the University of Virginia will host a virtual event featuring former senior administration officials to examine the first 100 days of President Joe Biden’s administration and the ongoing presidential transition process. The panel will discuss major milestones in the transition to governing, how previous administrations approached the beginning of a new presidency, and how the Biden administration can accomplish key personnel, management and policy goals in the next 100 days. Register here

On Tuesday April 27th, from 9AM-10:30AM, join our partners at the Senior Executives Association, Treasury Executive Institute, and Arbinger Institute for a presentation on Distance or Disconnect? Coming Together When Your Team is Apart. Click here to register and learn more.

News at the IRS

This week, Commissioner Rettig testified before the Senate Finance Committee to discuss the current filing season and the 21st century IRS. Following the Commissioner's testimony, PMA sent a letter reiterating the need for an historic investment in our agency. We asked for specific regulatory authority to aid in our enforcement as well as multiyear budgets walled off from the annual appropriations process to ensure we can modernize in the way we need. We are deeply grateful to Commissioner Rettig for his candor when informing the Senate that we are "outgunned" frequently by taxpayers who can skirt our tax laws and hide behind increasingly complex business structures. PMA will continue our work to ensure the current $1 trillion tax gap never becomes normalized in our country.

PMA met this week for a status update on IRS implementation of the paid sick leave provisions contained in the American Rescue Plan (ARPA). ARPA became law more than a month ago and provides up to 600 hours (limited to $1,400/week) in leave for Feds impacted by COVID. IRS leadership is very eager to offer this benefit but it left waiting for guidance from OPM and Treasury. We also learned through our advocacy that the National Finance Center (NFC) is unprepared to reprogram its payroll software to appropriately track leave used under this provision. The leave is available through September 30, 2021, so time is of the essence. We know this is frustrating for you and your employees and we ask you to trust that the IRS is working as hard as it can to deliver this to everyone. For our part, PMA will press OPM and the Department of Agriculture (NFC's parent department) to expedite programming and testing.

Earlier this week, the IRS communicated a reminder about the in-office mask mandate. The IRS shared its revised policy on February 24th and highlighted one major change - you must wear a mask at all times, even when seated alone in a cubicle. You also must wear a mask outdoors on Federal property when social distancing is difficult or impossible. This mandate is in place for all Federally-occupied space and supersedes all public health guidance from your state and local government. The only time you can remove your mask at work is to eat and drink. If you are working alone in an office which is fully enclosed by a door and walls that reach the ceiling, you can work without a mask with your door closed. Should someone need to enter that office, you must put on your mask. PMA also asks its members to honor requests from employees who may feel uncomfortable meeting with you in an enclosed office. Seek out a vacant conference room or other area to have a discussion so that we ensure our colleagues remain safe.

The Partnership for Public Service released its analysis of IRS customer service for FY19. We're immensely proud of your efforts during that challenging year when the longest shutdown in American history stymied the filing season and presented immense challenges. We commend you for your dedication and commitment to the mission.

Former Commissioner Koskinen joined the National Academy of Public Administration's Management Matters podcast to discuss the mission of the IRS and its role in both revenue collection and distribution of the recovery funds. Click here to listen to all episodes currently available at Apple Podcasts. Management Matters can also be found on Buzzsprout, Spotify, and wherever podcasts are found.

PMA@40 - Join Us Now

This summer, PMA will celebrate our 40th anniversary as the only association advocating exclusively on behalf of IRS managers, management officials, other non-bargaining workers, leadership development program participants, and retirees from those roles. Through our long relationship with the IRS, we’ve worked to identify problems and recommend solutions around many complex workforce issues such as performance pay, leave, professional liability, and safety, to name only a few. We are working diligently to strengthen the IRS and enhance management through our relationships in Congress - at times even sharing our members' individual stories to fortify congressional understanding of our working conditions. We do all of this and more for only $3.50 per pay period – an incredible value.

If you're reading this and you're not yet a member, use the attached form to join us today and you'll be a member just in time for our anniversary celebration and relaunch! 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 additional benefits such as discounted rates from our sponsors GEICO and FEDS Protection. PMA members participating in a FEHB plan may be able to get free, state-of-the-art hearing aids through our partner Eargo. Just mention PMA and they will waive your copay for most health plans. This benefit is available to anyone in your family using your FEHB plan.

Don't forget to follow PMA on social media! You can forward this email to your personal address to check out our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Help PMA Form a Local Chapter

PMA’s National Board is looking for members throughout the country who are willing to consider serving as chapter president. If you're in Colorado or Georgia, please reach out today! 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 as members of our Association Leadership Committee. The Committee will participate in PMA's modernization project, which is already underway. 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.

Weekly updates