Weekly Updates

ECQ Writing Workshop & Other Updates

December 4, 2020
No-Cost Professional Development Opportunities

The Future of Government Leadership Is Now: Our friends at the Senior Executives Association (SEA) along with the Association for Talent Development are partnering to deliver a webinar series December 8-10. This three-day virtual leadership summit is designed to empower participants to take ideas about the future of work and apply them today. Between the pandemic, the shift to fully remote work environments, changing economy and talent drivers, the ideas that drive how work and leadership will be handled in the future are being tested immediately. The Government's leaders are being challenged to meet this new work dynamic head on - which may require different ways of thinking and being. Click here to register and learn more. If you are interested in attending, let me know and I can share an exclusive discount code for active PMA members. If you'd like to attend but the fee is prohibitive, please reply to this email to request a scholarship!

You can sign up to attend an ECQ Writing Workshop the IRS is hosting on December 15th.

Would you like to lead a PMA Local Chapter?

PMA’s National Board is looking for members in Georgia 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 as members of our Association Leadership Committee. The Committee will participate in PMA's modernization project, which gets underway starting on Monday! 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.

2020 Combined Federal Campaign

Please be sure to check out this year's CFC annual drive! From their site, you can find a CFC-approved charity and learn more about the campaign. If you'd like to support your fellow Federal workers, please consider supporting the Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund (FEEA), CFC #11185. FEEA works hard to offer financial assistance, childcare, tutoring services, and so much more for Feds. They are the only charity expressly dedicated to supporting the Civil Service. You have until January 15th to sign up! Don't forget that the CARES Act provides a new charitable contributions deduction for people who don't itemize - most taxpayers can take up to $300 over and above their standard deduction.

Help Others Become A PMA 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 – an incredible value. I ask each of you to encourage your peers in the non-bargaining unit to consider signing up using the attached form - please forward this newsletter to one person in your network who might benefit from our advocacy and information. 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.

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. We are working to better leverage these tools so we can keep in touch with each of you. Soon we will debut our Instagram and LinkedIn pages as we continue to work on refreshing our virtual toolkit.

HCO Updates

Thank you to Commissioner Rettig for granting two hours of holiday administrative leave. Be sure that you and your teams use this before the end of December - and don't forget to adjust any use-or-lose leave you have planned. You can find more information here.

The caregiver administrative leave available through the end of this year for teleworkers was extended to March 31, 2021. PMA welcomes this news and is grateful to our partners in Treasury and within the IRS who worked so hard to make this happen. This benefit is available so long as the Commissioner's evacuation order remains in place. There have been some questions about the definition of 'family' with regard to this program and HCO advised us that the definition is identical to the one we use for FMLA requests.

News From Washington

We continue to monitor congressional negotiations on the spending bills needed to keep the government open after December 11th. As of this writing, the Congress agreed on the top-line spending amounts for those bills but continue to work through the details. Both leaders of the House and Senate prefer to pass a formal spending bill and avoid further continuing resolutions but several major issues are frustrating those plans. The Congress is also trying to simultaneously put together another economic stimulus bill which may require a CR in order to give time for those discussions. The Executive Order creating a Schedule F classification added another wrinkle as many congresspeople hope to intervene in those plans.

This situation was complicated further this week, when the president signaled that he will veto the defense spending bill if it passes without eliminating legal protections for tech companies and over changing names of military bases. and that he supports a pay freeze for civilian Federal employees but intends to keep the military raise at 3%. Remember that FEHB premiums increased by 4.9% for 2021 so this is essentially a pay cut. PMA is very disappointed to see the administration back away from the insufficient 1% raise they proposed earlier this year. The defense bill contains language which is vitally important to the Civil Service - such as a 25% increase in the annual leave carryover ceiling (i.e., the average employee would be able to carry over 300 hours into 2021, rather than 240) and updated language for your new paid parental leave benefit.

For those of you who worked through the prior 35-day shutdown, you may be covered by a class action suit brought by the AFGE. You need to opt-in to participate and you can read more on that here.

Weekly updates