For the 2021-22 academic year, PMA continues to offer ten $2,000 scholarships through our official charity, the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund. As a further benefit, FEEA's common application makes it easy to compete for more than 200 awards valued between $1,000 and $7,500. Be sure to apply no later than March 25th at 3PM Eastern (there are no extensions available to this deadline for any reason so please don't wait for the last minute!). Not a PMA member? Use the attached form to sign up today!
We are also seeking volunteers to serve as readers for this scholarship cycle. Readers review and score 30-40 applications in April or May, with a total time commitment under six hours over two or three weeks. This is performed virtually through an online portal. If you or someone you know if willing to volunteer for FEEA in this capacity, please follow the directions in this link to express interest. Readers need not be Federal employees - this is a great opportunity for anyone you know looking for an easy way to help!
The momentum for change in DC continues apace. Just this morning, the Senate approved a resolution which paves the way for additional legislation to support pandemic-related financial support. We anticipate that legislation to materialize by mid-March. That bill is expected to contain a $1,400 additional economic impact payment and expanded unemployment assistance.
PMA's work in DC this week was focused on extending the FFCRA provisions for emergency paid sick leave, which expired on December 31st. We are pressing the Congress to ensure paid sick and family leave under the act is available to all Federal workers. We are also monitoring the Chai Suthammanont Remembrance Act, currently being drafted by the House Subcommittee on Government Operations. The proposal would require each federal agency to publish a safety plan publicly on their agency website, to communicate the plan directly to employees, and to track that all employees have received the safety information. While we are proud of the IRS's COVID response, we acknowledge there is plenty more to do. The agency plan would be required to include a number of PMA priorities - such as contingencies for employees who live with a high-risk individual, leave policies for those suffering from vaccine-related side effects, and a plan for contact tracing.
The Congress is also working to expand leave and retirement benefits (read more). We also expect to see the return of "Clean SF-50" settlements (read more). In 2022, as much as 31% of the entire Civil Service will be retirement-eligible (this is even higher at the IRS), making changes to pay and benefits critical to effectively recruting the next generation of Federal workers. For those of you planning your retirement, take a look at Tammy Flanagan's 15th annual roll-up of retirement columns by topic.
We are excited to welcome Heather Maloy back to the IRS. Heather will lead the Taxpayer First Act Office after previously serving as LB&I Commissioner. You can read more about Heather here.
The IRS seeks your input to develop the Servicewide Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (EDI) Strategy & Roadmap. EDI is everyone's business so please be sure to share this link throughout your network and with your teams.
We continue to work with the IRS as it finalizes its guidance regarding annual leave restoration in the wake of the late NDAA passage which increase annual leave carryover limits for this calendar year from 240 to 300 hours for most workers. After a discussion with HCO, we anticipate more information on this next week. We are grateful to HCO for their hard work on this and want to clarify for our members that the guidance requires a number of approvals before it can be disseminated, which was out of HCO's control (though we know our members have been frustrated by the lack of clarity).
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. 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.
FEEA is offering 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. Please visit FEEA's website or email them to learn more about programs available to you.
PMA’s National 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 weekly COVID 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.