Weekly Updates

No-Cost Professional Development Opportunities‍ & Other Updates

September 18, 2020
Does Your Life Insurance Cover Long-Term Care?

Join PMA’s sponsor, Wade Guemmer, for a Zoom presentation on September 24th at 11:30AM Eastern. Wade will talk about life insurance that can pay for long-term care and related expenses. You’ll also learn how FEGLI works during and after retirement, as well as the benefits and cost to provide a survivor annuity. This is very valuable information and it’s free to attend for PMA members. You will need to attend using your personal device. Click here to email your request to attend.

Medical Certificates Needed to Continue Weather & Safety Leave

Effective September 17th, all those who self-certified as “high risk” per CDC guidelines and are currently on W&S Leave are now required to provide medical documentation. Beginning on October 13th, only employees who’ve provided documentation or who’ve received an extension of time to provide it will remain on W&S Leave. If you have a loved one at home who is “high risk” and you’re worried about their safety, please work with your leadership and LR to explore your options. PMA continues to advocate for workable solutions that respect those of us who are caregivers.

PMA Celebrates Our Hispanic Members

Hispanic Heritage Month began this week on September 15th and runs through October 15th. We recognize and honor the impactful contributions and influence Hispanic people have had on the United States and the world. A huge thank you to our Latinx members, employees, executives, sponsors, and contractors for your resilience in all you do. Mas Fuertes Unidos!

Social Security Withholding Deferral for Certain Employees

In early 2021, it’s possible your Social Security withholding could double up to 12.4% until the amount from 2020 is recaptured. Please keep in mind, if affected, your take home pay for January through April could decrease. While there is no opt-out provision, employees have the ability to set aside funds to cover the withholding after the deferral period ends. This effects our very next pay check – learn more in the attached FAQ document.

Review your last earnings and leave statement on the Employee Personal Page (EPP) to identify your typical Social Security (OASDI) deduction. Use that information to set up a financial allotment via My EPP in that exact amount in preparation for saving these funds. A financial allotment would be distributed to an account you identify (personal savings, checking, etc.). It is important to remember that your typical OASDI deduction could fluctuate with each pay period depending on factors like overtime, etc. This would be an approximation to assist an employee with preparation for payback.

Would you like to lead a PMA Local Chapter?

PMA’s National Board is looking for members in Colorado, Georgia, 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.

EDI Offers LGBTQ Awareness Session for Swing Shift Managers

On September 23rd, from 4-5PM Eastern, please join EDI via SABA to learn more about LGBTQ issues in our organization. For more information, please contact our longtime friend Linda Ortiz. To attend the session, click here for the SABA event. See the attached flyer for more.

No-Cost Professional Development Opportunities

The IRS is hosting HRConnect training for managers and proxies on September 23. The focus is the PAR approval process and other current issues within the program. The SABA sessions can be accessed from your work computer and will not be recorded. Read more

Need help writing your ECQs? Are you a GS-14, GS-15, IR-01, IR-03, or IR-04 employee? Join the Office of Executive Services on September 23 for a writing webinar. Read more

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

FEEA Has Masks For Frontline Feds

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. Thank you to those managers who’ve reached out to me for bulk orders for their teams!

HCO Updates

Congratulations to Carrie Holland, our incoming Deputy Human Capital Officer! PMA has enjoyed working closely with Kevin McIver over the years and we look forward to forging a strong relationship with Carrie.

The 2020 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS) and Supplemental Survey for seasonal employees will begin Tuesday, September 15, 2020 and close on October 27, 2020. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will email invitations to employees to take the survey during the week of September 15th. 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.

HCO invites you to attend one of six workshops to learn what actions you’ll need to take in case of a government shutdown resulting from a lapse in appropriations. Six sessions are scheduled for September 21-23, read more.

News From Washington

House leaders reached an agreement with Secretary Mnuchin proposing a continuing resolution free from controversial amendments. While nothing is finalized, our contacts on the Hill are optimistic that the CR will become law in time to avoid a shutdown in October. PMA will continue its advocacy to ensure a stable appropriation is made for the fiscal year and that it includes an equitable pay increase for civilians. Don’t forget that civilian federal employees are guaranteed back pay in future lapses. We do not anticipate a lapse in funding but we want to allay any concerns.

PMA met with officials at OMB pressing them to authorize an Emergency Leave Transfer Program (ELTP) for the COVID-19 pandemic. ELTPs have been authorized in the past for disasters, most recently for Hurricane Dorian. Such an authorization would allow the IRS to open the ELTP for those of us impacted by the pandemic and would allow those of us who’ve accumulated high leave balances to transfer them in part to those of us with caregiving responsibilities that are cutting deeply into our leave balances. We believe this makes sense for a number of reasons and is a logical extension of the current administration’s posture that COVID-19 is a disaster sufficient to justify use of the Defense Production Act (DPA) as well as the Stafford Act, which funds FEMA relief. We are working today to rally support among all the other professional associations, employee groups, and federal employee unions in an effort to broaden our impact. Activation of the ELTP will help parents balance work with their children’s e-learning and so much more.

Weekly updates