Weekly Updates

PMA Celebrates Women's History Month, Legislative News, & More

March 4, 2022
Women's History Month 2022

Each year, we honor the work that women have done to improve so many aspects of our lives, from law, to politics, to the sciences, to the arts, and everything else in between. At the Internal Revenue Service, 65% of the workforce identifies as female - nearly 20 percentage points higher than the rest of the Civil Service and 15 percentage points higher than the entire American labor force. At PMA, we are incredibly honored and deeply proud to serve alongside so many women dedicated to excellence in public service.

While this representation is important and we hope to see it improve in other agencies, we still have a lot of work to do. This is only the second fiscal year in which we have a paid parental leave benefit - finally providing a modicum of equity for new mothers and parents. The EEOC issued a report just last month which found that women in federal service were still earning less than men as recently as 2018. PMA will work with our coalition partners and our partners at Federally Employed Women (FEW) to advocate for a fair workplace where women can thrive free from harassment and bias, and continue to increase their numbers in leadership - especially in the Senior Executive Service.

PMA's Scholarship Deadline Is Approaching

In just a little less than three weeks, at 3pm EDT on Thursday, March, 24, 2022, PMA's scholarship application will close. Students applying for the 2022-23 academic year must complete their applications, include all attachments, and click "submit" before the deadline in order to be considered for a scholarship.

Here are a few things to watch out for:
-PMA awards ten $2,000 scholarships to our members, their spouses, their children, and their grandchildren. The PMA member listed on the application must be a member in good standing. If your membership lapsed, contact us immediately so we can help you resume dues withholding.

-The account created in FEEA's application system must belong to the student applying (not a parent, sibling, or someone else). Each student must have their own account.

-If you were enrolled in school during the Fall 2021 semester, please follow the application instructions for how to include your Fall grades. Missing grades is a reason students are disqualified every year!

-If you are not in the Eastern time zone, make sure you convert the deadline to your own time zone (e.g., applicants in Hawaii, you must submit by 9:00am local time!). The deadline is 3:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time on Thursday, March 24, 2022.

-Don't forget to click "submit"! If you submitted at any time and then reopened your application or made changes, you must click "submit" again.

Check out FEEA's scholarship webinar for more tips!


The Individual and Business Master Files (IMF, BMF) celebrate their 60th birthday this year! PMA wants to help Congress and the American public appreciate how badly the IRS needs modernization funding. Part of our IMF/BMF@60 campaign will feature facts and context to help frame the true age of our primary computing database. As a reminder, the IRS still relies on the oldest continually operating database in the entire federal government.

On Valentine's Day in 1962, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy invited the nation to tour the White House after its renovation. The taped television broadcast was viewed by 80 million people in over 50 countries. A Tour of the White House with Mrs. John F. Kennedy was America's first look at the $2 million project ($18.6 million in today's dollars). View this clip from the tour and keep in mind that the computer system you are currently using today was the very same system in place at the time.

Legislative News

We had a very busy February in Washington working with Congress and OPM on a number of issues while trying to keep up with all of the news the IRS has been generating lately. Currently, the continuing resolution was extended to March 11th and everyone on the Hill still feels that it is possible they will pass all 12 appropriations bills in time.

We again endorsed the pending nominees for the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) and the Federal Labor Relations Authority, and we are pleased that Tristan Leavitt and Raymond Limon were confirmed this week. Their confirmation restores a quorum to the MSPB for the first time in more than five years. We are still awaiting confirmation of the third and final nominee, Cathy Ann Harris.

We also submitted written comments for the record to both the Senate Finance Committee and the House Oversight Subcommittee on Ways & Means regarding IRS funding, workload, and our concern that IRS senior leadership is making major decisions absent managerial input.

IRS Continues to Make Decisions Absent Managerial Input

PMA and the IRS signed a consultative agreement in August 2021 at the IRS's request. In our agreement, the Service committed to including management in the decision making process as well as providing management with timely notice of decisions. In recent weeks, PMA and many of our members have learned of high profile decisions with wide-ranging impacts from the media before we are formally notified by the Service. We raised this issue in a letter to Commissioner Rettig when the Accounts Management Inventory Surge Team was announced to PMA with an hour's notice.

We are grateful to Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement Paul Mamo, W&I Customer Account Services Director Dietra Grant, AM Surge Team Project Manager Ryan Kinikin, and Chris Webb for the time they took to meet with PMA's leadership team. We illustrated how a failure to proactively engage management leads to a perception in Congress and in the press that these decisions are not well considered. PMA can also help to promote the goodness of a plan, if only we know what it is. We were disappointed to confirm that this particular plan had been in the works for many weeks without any engagement or notice.

While PMA was waiting for our meeting to discuss the developments in AM, we learned that Austin Submission Processing would no longer be consolidated from a press contact at the Washington Post. This was shared with the workforce later in the day and closely followed TIGTA publicly releasing its audit report recommending that Austin remain open. Just three days prior, NTEU publicly stated its agreement with TIGTA that the facility should remain open.

Even this morning, we were contacted by the press for comment on a plan to hire 10,000 workers over the next two years - a decision that would have enormous impact on managers at all levels of the Service. We again learned of this plan from a reporter at Politico and then another at the Washington Post. We are unsure how the Service intends to accomplish this as it attempted to hire 5,000 this year and fewer than 200 people applied. PMA has a number of proposals on how to improve IRS recruiting but we need a culture of open dialogue in order for the Service to benefit from all our members can offer.

We share these examples because we know that our members often feel that decisions are made at the top of organizations without input from the frontline or from people who will be most impacted. We want to validate that feeling - we in PMA are seeing that even monumental decisions are being made without any avenue for our members to be heard. We will be following up with Commissioner Rettig directly next week to help him understand that an agency with very few resources at its disposal should be making the most out of the few resources it does have - PMA's members are its most valuable asset.

PMA Events

Defending Yourself Against a Subordinate's EEO Complaint. In this live webinar, an attorney from PMA's partner Shaw Bransford & Roth with a decade of experience in representing accused managers will explain the EEO process, each participant’s obligations, and what a manager should do to protect their own personal employment interests when they are contacted by an EEO counselor or investigator. This webinar will be hosted on Wednesday, March 9th, at 11AM Eastern, via ZoomGov. Registration is open to all and $25. Register today!

Introduction to PMA's University Partners. PMA has teamed up with American Military University and American Public University, leaders in online education with a strong track record helping federal government professionals achieve their learning goals. In this live presentation, you will hear from a representative of the American Public University System to help you understand your newest membership benefit - reduced tuition and fees for undergraduate and graduate coursework. On Wednesday, March 16th, 2PM-3PM Eastern, join this Zoom webinar to hear more. This event is free and open to all. Register today!

Board Informational Session. Would you like to help us make the IRS a better place to work? PMA has an election coming up this spring and we want our members to have an opportunity to learn more about what it means to serve on PMA's National Board of Directors. Join us on Wednesday, March 23rd, from 3PM-4PM via Zoom. This meeting is open to active IRS members in good standing only. Register today!

Opportunities for Managers

We wanted to highlight opportunities for senior managers and frontline managers in the new Taxpayer Experience Office (TEO). Chief Taxpayer Experience Officer and W&I Commissioner Ken Corbin is a longtime PMA supporter and we hope that our members will hurry to apply for roles working for him. The TEO is where we will envision the future of the IRS and these are exciting opportunities. You need to act quickly - the senior manager postings close on Monday and the frontline positions are currently posted.

COVID Updates

On Monday, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force issued initial implementation guidance on COVID-19 Community Levels. The guidance provides updates on masking requirements and other prevention measures, including screening testing for employees entering our facilities who are not fully vaccinated, depending on the level of COVID-19 in their community.

When the COVID-19 community level is high in the county where an IRS facility is located:
-Individuals must wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.
-IRS will utilize its screening testing program for COVID-19, when testing protocols are finalized.

In areas of low or medium COVID-19 community levels, in most settings, IRS employees do not need to wear masks regardless of vaccination status.

See the IRS COVID-19 Community Levels Report for your location and continue to refer to the site for current updates.

Discipline related to the vaccine mandate is paused while a case makes its way through the courts. Still, it's never too late to begin your vaccine series - to find a vaccine appointment near you, visit www.vaccines.gov or www.vacunas.gov.

Join PMA in Celebrating FEEA's 36th Birthday

PMA's official charity, the Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund (FEEA) is celebrating its 36th anniversary. The Feds In Motion Challenge is all about moving in your favorite way — walk, run, bike, swim, or roll on your favorite route — to reach the goal of 36 miles (or more!) in 36 days. Click here to register for the celebration. If you have coworkers or friends who haven't registered yet, please share far and wide. All are welcome on #TeamPMA and thank you to all who've joined the team so far!

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 FEEA's sponsors, and prizes for top fundraisers. Be sure to sign up today!

We are also using this as an opportunity to raise some money for FEEA to help Feds in need. Consider making a tax deductible donation.

Weekly updates