Weekly Updates

Professional Development Grants & Other Updates

July 17, 2020

IRS Leave Bank Open Season Ends Today

Please be sure to sign up today. It’s easy to join the leave bank and make your donation through self-service in Single Entry Time Reporting (SETR). The Leave Bank Program makes donated hours available to Leave Bank recipients who are facing a family or personal medical emergency and have exhausted all their paid leave. It’s helped thousands of employees through challenging times. You and your fellow employees joining or contributing to the Leave Bank makes this possible.

PMA Offers Grants for Your Professional Development

One important benefit of your membership is the ability to apply for grants (up to $500) to attend a training session, seminar, or take a course that will enhance your leadership skills. Not sure where to begin? Take a look at this article for ideas to guide your development. Please contact us with your proposal!

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.

No-Cost Professional Development Opportunities

We invite you to join a conversation July 22nd from 1-2:30PM Eastern on Resilience in Times of Stress and Uncertainty with the experts from the Foreign Service Institute's Center of Excellence in Foreign Affairs Resilience (CEFAR). The session will be an interactive overview of personal resilience concepts, strategies and tools to help manage stress during these uncertain times. The session will provide an opportunity for you to share some of the concerns and challenges we are facing in these unprecedented times and learn how we can strengthen both personal and team resilience. Registration is required to attend and you can register from either your personal or work device by clicking here. However, you will likely need to attend the event from your personal device.

Join April Buckland and Adrienne Church, Service-wide Knowledge Management (SKM) Driving Adoption program analysts, on August 13th from 1-2PM Eastern to learn more about unlocking the power of collaboration and knowledge with SKM. This is an event hosted by the Internal Revenue Service so you will need to enroll following the instructions here and attend using your work device.

Team Results USA is offering free weekly webinars on Wednesdays from 1-2PM Eastern on the Anatomy of Teamwork. The series will feature the latest research from UCLA, Sandia Labs, the University of Arizona, among others on how teams operate. To be a part of this free webinar, from your personal device, click here to register for login credentials.

FEEA Has Masks For Frontline Feds

FEEA is 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 – supplies are limited. If you would like to order a batch of those masks for your team, please let me know.

HCO Update

FSAFEDS participants have a 60-day limited period which ends on August 29th, during which certain mid-year changes can be made to their existing elections. During this limited period, enrollees in a 2020 Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA), Limited Expense Health Care Flexible Spending Account (LEX HCFSA), or Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (DCFSA) can make a one-time change (increase or decrease) in the amount of their annual election in each of their FSA accounts. Participants, however, cannot receive a refund of allotments already made to an FSA account. Read more

On Monday, employees with nonportable duties or those who cannot otherwise telework were recalled nationwide. Those who can telework will remain doing so, ensuring that in-office populations remain minimal to stop the spread. Please remember that the IRS continues to accept an employee’s self-certification as meeting one or more of the CDC’s high-risk criteria and it is inappropriate to request documentation of someone’s high-risk status in any form – this applies to everyone in the agency, not only those in the bargaining unit. Those self-certifying as high-risk will continue to remain home and safe. As your staff return, please let us know about any issues you encounter – especially where safety is a concern. FMSS and HCO have worked very hard to make each POD safe and PMA serves as your direct line to decision makers in those functions.

News From Washington

On July 9th, Representative Sylvia Garcia (TX-29) introduced HR 7524, or the Wear Your Mask Act. The bill proposes that masks be mandatory in all federally-owned and -leased space which would improve consistency nationwide. We are especially concerned about our peers in facilities with multiple tenants where some agencies may require masks and others may not. PMA will always advocate for your safety and is working with its coalition partners to support this important legislation. Read more

Also on July 9th, the four senators from Maryland and Virginia sent a letter to the directors of OMB and OPM stressing the need to continue maximum telework. PMA is working with its coalition partners to support this effort because maximum telework allows our agency to effectively implement social distancing practices. The IRS’s commitment to social distancing has been successful in preventing workplace spread of COVID-19 and we will continue to advocate on behalf of management and the agency so this important flexibility remains available to us, especially as the new school year is set to begin and many members will struggle to juggle childcare with any obligation to commute to the office, if only periodically. PMA continues to advocate for flexibilities for those of you who must report to the office while balancing family care needs.

Weekly updates