Weekly Updates

‍Winter and COVID-19 & Other Updates

October 30, 2020
Consider Joining Our Board of Directors

We will soon begin soliciting statements of interest from our active members who are interested in serving on PMA's National Board. At this time, the National Board is composed of nine volunteer directors from across the Service. We encourage everyone who is interested to consider serving on our Board. Our bylaws strive for representation from a variety of programs and geographic locations so we are especially interested in recruiting directors from parts of the country where we don't yet have a director (e.g., Any PODs in the Atlantic, Eastern, Alaskan, or Hawaii-Aleutian time zones). Please give it some thought and we will provide additional information next week on how to prepare your statement and submit your nomination.  

Welcome to PMA's Newest Sponsor

PMA has a new corporate sponsor - Eargo! Eargo is a state-of-the-art hearing aid manufacturer whose products may be available to you and your family at no cost through the Federal Health Benefits (FEHB) program. We just signed an agreement with Eargo this week and we will share specific information and links for more information once everything is finalized. Eargo has agreed to share access to webinars and to offer a live training event for our members on hearing loss. They also have technology which will allow you to be evaluated virtually during the pandemic so you can avoid in-person visits. We are very excited to offer new and valuable benefits to you and we thank our friends at Eargo for their support of leadership excellence within the Internal Revenue Service!

Winter and COVID-19

With winter months and shorter days fast approaching, take care to look after yourself. We liked this article from NPR that contained some helpful reminders now that we'll be indoors more than we imagined. Be sure to get your flu shot, find a way to keep active, and be sure your home environment is comfortable for teleworking (if you find yourself working from home). If you struggle with feeling blue during the wintertime, or maybe you experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (sometimes called seasonal depression), you might benefit from setting up a light therapy lamp by your workstation.  

Would you like to lead a PMA Local Chapter?

PMA’s National Board is looking for members in Georgia who are willing to consider serving as chapter president. 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. 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.

Help Others Become A PMA 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 - please forward this newsletter to one person in your orbit 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 benefits such as discounted rates from our sponsors GEICO and FEDS Protection.

No-Cost Professional Development Opportunities

Our friends at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Senior Executives Association (SEA) are hosting a free virtual event called Digital Competencies for the Public Leader on November 2, from 1-2:30PM Eastern via Zoom. Harvard lecturer David Eaves will discuss how to identify skills and competencies needed to navigate a new, digital world to manage operations, processes, and people. Learn more about the session and to register by clicking here.

National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) is hosting webinars relating to the upcoming open season. Please click here to learn more! We are exploring ways to partner with NARFE to offer you additional benefits and we are so grateful to them for sharing this information.

On November 12, from 1-2PM Eastern, HCO is hosting a SABA session called “IRS Careers Website, Part B: Mapping Your Engagement Journey.” It will cover an overview of the IRS Careers website and the various resources contained within the site. The presentation will include a review of tools to identify a career path within the IRS and determine job qualifications for a higher-graded position, and information about the various IRS business units. Click here to register

Register for the 2020 Virtual Benefits Fair hosted by our friends at FedPoint! You can access this information throughout Open Season. Plus, representatives from all participating carriers will be available to take your questions during four live chat days – November 13 and 20, December 2 and 9. Click here for more information.

HCO Updates

HCO continues to answer questions regarding limited excused absences for caregiving responsibilities for teleworking employees. PMA has been working hard all year with the Treasury to get this important flexibility for our teams. While this doesn’t address the very real, very critical issues for those with non-portable work, we are grateful that it is a step in the right direction. PMA will continue its advocacy for those of you who are not eligible for this program. Click here to learn more

News From Washington

DC has been busy with the coming elections and in confirming Justice Amy Coney Barrett. PMA is disappointed to see the Senate adjourn without considering another round of COVID-related stimulus as we continue to monitor the wide ranging impact the pandemic continues to have on our society and economy. Those of you who are struggling personally may be eligible for assistance from the Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund (FEEA) as well as the IRS's EAP program.

PMA issued a press release in response to the recent Executive Order which would reclassify some civil servants resulting in their employment being subject to political influence. PMA staunchly supports the protections afforded to the Civil Service under the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act of 1883 and was glad to see the House introduce the Saving the Civil Service Act in response to this EO. This week, PMA met with staffers from the House Ways & Means Committee, its Subcommittee on Investigations Oversight and Regulations, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and its Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations as we work to find legislative solutions to insulate the Civil Service from political influence. Our friends at NTEU filed a federal suit seeking to stop the EO's implementation. We collectively need to work quickly to intervene because OPM recently advised that the January 19 implementation date is a deadline. This means that an agency prepared to move forward with this reclassification today could do so immediately and needn't wait for January. Read more

We also met this week with the House and Senate to discuss the IRS’s need for appropriate funding and how the Congress’s failure to invest in the Service has eroded our ability to manage effectively, provide top quality service, and impedes our ability to enforce tax laws fairly. We are always impressed with congressional awareness on an individual basis of the critical need for funding and multi-year budgeting but continue to be frustrated by their failure to collaborate on solutions. Fortunately, PMA continues to develop relationships with key chairpersons in order to advocate for our members and for the Service.

Congratulations to Jim Lee and the entire Criminal Investigation Division on its work uncovering the largest tax fraud scheme in our history ($2 billion)! Read more  

Weekly updates