We had two meetings this week with key leaders in OPM and OMB to talk through implementation of the EO on Protecting the Federal Workforce and some concerns we have around consistent application across the government. We are grateful to those agencies for including managers in these discussions so that our concerns can be addressed along with any concerns expressed by federal employee unions. We met with BIG's new president, the Honorable Shirley Jones, Esq. to find ways we can support each other and enhance equity within the IRS. PMA and BIG will work together to shape the administration's workforce policies around accessibility, equity, diversity, and inclusion. That conversation will continue this month as we engage our friends at FEW, SEA, and OPM. We also had an opportunity to talk with some of our members, as well as the National Academy of Public Administration, about how IRS managers can support the administration's push to serve as a model employer. This week wrapped up with some software/website demonstrations as we look toward investing in a new website that will offer you better ways to connect with us and with resources to help you in your careers. Another busy week for PMA that left us feeling energized and excited to connect our members to these very big projects.
Most Americans will change their clocks ahead one hour early Sunday morning. Don't forget! The CDC has some good information about things to consider for the start of Daylight Saving. Some of our members shared that waking up an hour earlier on Saturday and Sunday made the change for Monday morning easier to bear. We also suggest using this as an opportunity to change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The good news is that we can look forward to more sunshine each evening to lift our spirits. To those of you in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and most of Arizona, we pre-apologize for the griping you'll hear about how tired we are on Monday morning!
OPM authorized a reopening of the Combined Federal Campaign so we can help those impacted by the historic winter weather this year. We encourage you to give what you can to our official charity, the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund (CFC #11185). You have until April 9th to make your gift and OPM is waiving the usual fees CFC charges to administer the program for gifts made during this period. See the attached talking points for more information and click here to make your pledge today.
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 is 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!
Yesterday, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) into law - a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill. Due to your hard work, some Americans will receive direct assistance as soon as this weekend. ARPA also includes enhanced unemployment benefits through the summer and financial support to help state and municipal budgets plug holes due to declines in tax revenues due to the pandemic. As we expected, the $1,400 EIP features an accelerated phaseout for those earning above $75,000 as compared to the 2020 EIPs.
The Congress is developing processes to reimplement earmarks - or "Community Project Funding" as they are now known. Earmarks were an important feature of annual appropriations albeit frequently criticized as waste. As the Congress is increasingly unable to compromise, CFPs would give leaders leverage to entice bipartisan collaboration in getting budgets passed, and passed timely. PMA remains hopeful that this will ease some tension in the Senate especially and we are working with our Governmental Affairs team to find creative ways we might use this to our strategic advantage as we press for a historic investment in the IRS.
OPM issued guidance to agencies reversing the policies from late 2020 around EDI training and unconscious bias. This guidance supersedes the former EO and OMB guidance. We look forward to the IRS reverting back to its original training plans with a renewed commitment to improving workplace inclusion.
Free Professional Development Opportunities
The IRS is offering sessions on how to combat COVID-19-related stress on March 23 and March 24. Read more
Through a new partnership with the White House Leadership Development Program, PMA invites you to “The Invitation,” a series of 90-minute events that invite Feds to think through how they too can be impactful leaders and play a part in good government. On March 30th from 10:30A-12P Eastern, we will discuss Creating Workforce Flexibility for Achieving Operational Resiliency. Register here to attend - you'll receive a Zoom link via email which you'll need to save in order to access the discussion.
You can attend a four-week, self-directed course through Harvard University's Kennedy School on the foundational principles of exercising leadership. In this introductory course, you will explore strategies for leading in a changing world where adaptive pressures will continue to challenge all of us. You will discover new ways to approach complex organizational systems and take thoughtful action on the work we all face ahead. Most importantly, you will reflect on how to move forward on the leadership challenges you care about most. The course should take about 2-3 hours per week to complete. Click here to sign up and get started. This opportunity is available to everyone and might be a good addition to your and your teams' career learning plans.
Fresno Submission Processing employees may receive offers to job swap. Maybe you're interested in retiring, an early out, a buyout, or separation? Learn more
You may need to show proof of employment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The IRS has a letter for you to use for that purpose. Click here
The IRS is seeking weekly input from you and your team through April 5th. Please complete the Climate Pulse Survey weekly to help the IRS respond to issues as they arise.
There’s never been a more important time to become a PMA member. 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 deepen our relationships throughout the IRS and to develop new relationships throughout the center of 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. PMA members participating in a FEHB plan may be able to get free, state-of-the-art hearing aids through our partner Eargo. Just mention PMA and they will waive your copay for most health plans. This benefit is available to anyone in your family using your FEHB plan!
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.
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.