We are proud of PMA member Ken Corbin for his selection to serve as the IRS's Taxpayer First Act Chief Taxpayer Experience Officer. This is the IRS's first senior assignment under the TFA and we know Ken will pave the way for a more accessible IRS, ready to adapt to our taxpayers' changing needs. Read more about Ken's assignment here and we look forward to finding ways for all managers to support Ken's vision for taxpayer service. Congratulations Ken!
On Monday, PMA's National Board met for its first meeting of the calendar year. PMA welcomes Sonya Rangel, PMA's Austin Chapter President, to its National Board of Directors. The National Board also voted on a new slate of officers approving Kelly Reyes as National Vice President, Carlos Zepeda asNational Treasurer, and Shari Ketterman as National Secretary. NationalPresident Jamie Collins continues to lead our Board as we finalize plans to deliver additional value to our members.
In 2021, PMA plans to refresh its look, improve its website, and offer new and exciting professional development and legislative/regulatory engagement opportunities. I apologize if all this work has made it harder to get news and updates from us and we will continue to prioritize connecting with you while we endeavor to improve our relevance, reach, and return on your investment. If there's something you wish PMA offered, something we could do better, or something important to you where PMA can lend its voice, please email or call. I enjoy hearing from you and your feedback is our most valuable asset!
Only nine days into the new administration and there's been a lot of movement in DC. PMA is pleased that President Biden chose to revoke two dangerous executive orders - one barring important inclusion training and another recategorizing some roles into a new OPM Schedule F. PMA is also very supportive of the order mandating masks during the pandemic. The Schedule F reversal also calls for more government workers to earn at least $15/hour. These have been PMA priorities all through 2020 and we've been working hard to persuade leaders in the prior and current administration to adopt these important policy changes.
We look forward to supporting the IRS as it navigates the president's workplace safety EO and the 25% occupancy limitation contained therein as well as the EDI training EO. That order, in addition to reversing the prior training prohibition, also requires equity assessments with a view toward prioritizing equity issues within the government as well as in how we impact taxpayers. We know the agency's enforcement outcomes will be scrutinized- for example, the order requires the Assistant Treasury Secretary for TaxPolicy to participate in an equitable data working group which will study barriers to full and equal protection. PMA had elevated these issues to IRS HQ throughout 2020 and, through our consultative relationship, we hope to assist the agency in making significant progress.
PMA is also busy monitoring the budget reconciliation process - a congressional maneuver that the new administration aims to leverage in order to increase the second-round stimulus from $600 to $2,000. Budget reconciliation can become very complicated and already we are seeing a rush from members to add amendments which may hamper progress on the stimulus. As ever, we urge the Congress to appropriately fund the IRS so the agency isn't left absorbing the costs of the 1% pay increase, a complex filing season, collecting additional OASDI, and paying out additional direct economic aid all from its paltry FY21 budget. We also continue pressing the Congress for a multi-year budget to pay for IRS IT modernization so that we can discontinue our reliance on the oldest computer system still in use in the federal government (IMF/BMF celebrate their 59th birthday this year).
This is just the beginning of what we hope to be tremendous momentum in the White House and the Congress to listen to the Civil Service and provide the support and reform we need. PMA will continue to advocate on these issues - while the EOs are helpful, they can be reversed at any time. We continue to look to the Congress to implement legislative reforms to further protect our interests. To that end, PMA continues to support thePreventing a Patronage System Act (PPSA) as well as the Saving the Civil ServiceAct (SCSA) to ensure a wide-ranging reclassification cannot proceed in the future. On Federal pay, we continue to press for pay reform and a return to pre-2011 pay parity principles. Through our relationships within the GovernmentManagers Coalition, we also continue our work pressing the administration to nominate an OPM director and to restore a quorum to the Merit SystemsProtection Board (MSPB). Sadly, the MSPB has now entered its fourth consecutive year without a quorum, leaving thousands of employees in limbo and potentially costing the government millions in back pay claims.
We are thrilled to work with Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen. Secretary Yellen is the first woman to lead our department and has many years of experience serving in government, first as Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors in the final years of theClinton administration, then as President of the San Francisco Federal ReserveBank, and later as a member of its Board of Governors, then serving as itsVice-Chair, before becoming Chair in 2014. Since the 1990s, very few TreasurySecretaries have come to us with deep government experience and knowledge of fiscal and monetary policy so we welcome Dr. Yellen's wisdom, experience, and commitment to our nation's financial future.
There’s never been a more important time to become aPMA 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 $100payment. Membership also comes with many additional benefits such as discounted rates from our sponsors GEICO and FEDS Protection. Our scholarship program is open and accepting applications - we offer 10 $2,000 scholarships to members, their spouses, and their college-aged children each year.
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.
Our IRS family is at risk of the many hardships facing taxpayers during this time. We know the TSP funds are being withdrawn to close financial gaps and that many now face using LWOP in lieu of sick as we enter the second year of the pandemic. PMA continues to push Congress to retroactively extend the emergency paid sick leave provisions in the FFCRA, which expired on 12/31. We are also calling on OPM to provide authority for the IRS to implement an emergency leave transfer program for those with non-portable duties burning through leave to balance their family and work obligations.
We held a webinar on Wednesday with our friends at FEEA, during which they made us aware of complimentary tutoring services available to many of your K-12 children (available to any federal worker earning under $100,000 inclusive of locality pay) as well as a COVID emergency assistance program that permits small, no-interest loans and grants to families in need. If you were unable to attend, we included the minutes from that meeting as an attachment to this message. Please visit FEEA's website or email them to learn more about programs available to you.
We also encourage you to make use of the EmployeeAssistance Program (EAP). For free, round-the-clock access to the many helpful COVID-19 and other resources available for you and your family, first register on the ComPsychGuidance Resources website with the company ID IRS112and create your username and password. Make sure to use your IRS email address in your profile. Once registered, you’ll need to remember your username and password to log in. Once logged in, you can find comprehensive COVID-19support resources including help locating assistance such as food pantries, help with rent, prescriptions, utilities and more.
PMA’sNational 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.
Please be sure to contact us with any news, good or bad, on in-office COVID safety measures. Beginning Monday, the IRS plans to have everyone at IRS with non-portable work return to the office. We've been working closely with IRS leadership throughout the pandemic to ensure your safety is their sole priority, and it truly is. At the same time, we understand that locally issues can arise. We encourage you to follow your business unit's reporting protocol for gaps in compliance or supply needs. It is helpful to PMA if you share that feedback with us too so that we can bring it into our weeklyCOVID response briefings.
As PMA members, please be sure to follow the agency's COVID reporting guidance here. If you have feedback on any of the steps mandated, or on any FAQs and talking points provided, please share with us.