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FMA Washington Report: May 9, 2022

This report provides an update on issues affecting federal managers. As always, I encourage you to visit www.fedmanagers.org on a regular basis for more information on these and other matters.

Also, be sure to look for the FMA Grassroots Update, where we offer links to action letters and FMA-PAC matters we do not address in the Washington Report. The grassroots newsletter is sent exclusively to non-governmental email addresses to avoid any Hatch Act violations. If you are not receiving it, contact the national office to provide your non-governmental email address.

Please feel free to provide feedback any time by emailing Greg Stanford at gstanford@fedmanagers.org or by calling the National Office at (703) 683-8700. Thank you for your membership in FMA. It’s an honor to represent your interests before Congress and the administration.

Legislative Outreach
Support Builds in Congress for 5.1 Percent Pay Raise in 2023

On April 26, a group of 62 members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to Congressional appropriators calling for a 5.1 percent pay raise in 2023 for all federal employees. The letter supports the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act (H.R. 6398), sponsored by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), which would increase basic pay by 4.1 percent and an average boost to locality pay by 1.0 percent in 2023. FMA has endorsed the legislation, as well as companion legislation (S. 3518) introduced by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI).

“Over the past decade, federal employee pay increases failed to keep pace with rising labor and living costs. Additionally, federal workers weathered multiple pay freezes, hiring freezes and lost pay as the result of sequestration-related furloughs including two of the longest government shutdowns in U.S. history,” the letter stated. To read the full letter, please click here.

FMA Chapter 373 (U.S. Marshals Service) Endorses Legislation to Reform Inmate Accounts

On Friday, May 6, Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX) introduced the Inmate Financial Accountability Taskforce Act (H.R. 7680), which would establish a joint task force to develop a strategic plan to improve coordination with federal and state agencies to improve oversight and debt collection of its Inmate Trust Fund Accounts. FMA Chapter 373 (U.S. Marshals Service) worked with Rep. Gooden and his staff on the bill, focused on how Bureau of Prisons (BOP) policies deny victims' rights and child support, a topic Chapter 373 raised nearly eight years ago.

Jason Wojdylo, Vice-President for Law Enforcement Operations of the U.S. Marshals Service Chapter at FMA, was quoted in Rep. Gooden’s press release upon introduction. Wojdylo said, “We endorse this commonsense legislation that will create a task force to significantly improve the noble effort to collect duly ordered, court-imposed restitution and child support from federal inmates. Victims’ rights must no longer be flaunted by inmates from behind bars, prolonging unnecessary pain and suffering. Both sides of the aisle should quickly sign on to this Bill as co-sponsors. In the meantime, we are grateful for Congressman Gooden’s leadership on this issue.”

FMA Signs Joint Letter in Support of The PLUM Act

FMA joined 26 other organizations and individuals on a letter to Senate leaders on April 28 requesting consideration of the bipartisan PLUM Act (S. 3650). The PLUM Act would resolve an important issue raised by the Government Accountability Office, which noted in a March 2019 report that “there is no single source of data on political appointees serving in the executive branch that is publicly available, comprehensive, and timely.” The PLUM Act, as amended, would annually publish online an updated directory of senior government leaders.

The joint letter said, in part, “Appointments and vacancy information contained in the Plum Book rapidly go out of date as a consequence of the report’s infrequent publication. As amended, the PLUM Act would modernize the Plum Book and annually publish online an updated directory of senior government leaders. It requires the Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management ‘to establish and maintain a public directory of the individuals occupying Government policy and supporting positions.’” To read the full letter, please click here.

FMA and Federal-Postal Coalition Call for Cosponsors to the Honoring Civil Servants Killed in the Line of Duty Act

On April 29, FMA and colleagues from the Federal-Postal Coalition sent a letter to all members of the House of Representatives asking them to cosponsor and support bipartisan legislation boosting death benefit gratuities and funeral allowances for feds killed in the line of duty. An average of 24 federal civilian workers die annually in the line of duty.

As we reported previously, the House Oversight and Reform Committee favorably reported the Honoring Civil Servants Killed in the Line of Duty Act (H.R. 7376) during a markup in early April. The bill would increase the death benefits payable to the families of feds who die on the job, as well as increase funeral expense coverage. These figures have not been altered since 1997 and 1966, respectively.

What's Affecting Feds?
Plan Ahead: TSP Will Briefly Suspend All Transactions Beginning May 26

The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is transitioning to a new recordkeeper, which will result in planned down time this month. The transition begins on May 16, and the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) will suspend all TSP transactions beginning on May 26. Full access and transactions are expected to be restored during the first week of June. Participants’ funds will remain invested in the TSP funds that were elected during this time.

“Toward the end of the transition period, the FRTIB will suspend all TSP transactions for several days beginning on May 26, 2022. Access to My Account and the ThriftLine will be suspended during this time in order to add new features to enhance the ways participants manage their TSP account,” the FRTIB announced.

FMA Working For You!
FMA National President Craig Carter Leads Celebration of PSRW

Last week, May 1-7, was Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW). FMA National President Craig Carter led the association’s effort to support the week, urging all Americans to show their appreciation during PSRW.

"I want to take a moment to thank my Federal Managers Association colleagues, and all public servants at the federal, state, tribal, and local levels. So much of what we accomplish is taken for granted, but we know public servants strive to provide exceptional service to all Americans every day," Carter stated. "I’m happy to see the government is building off of last year’s successful ‘GovPossible’ theme and I am hopeful the spotlight on public service that shines so bright this week, reflecting the sense of duty, loyalty, and commitment to the American people, will continue to glow throughout the year."

Above and Beyond: FMA Managers of the Year on ‘Team Morale’

FMA contributes to a quarterly "FED Forum" on FedManager.com, responding to different questions and prompts. The prompt for the latest Fed Forum, is "Team Morale." The piece was originally published on FedManager.com on May 3.

In addressing team morale, we thought what better place to turn than recent winners of FMA’s prestigious Manager of the Year award. In some ways, they all offered variations on some core themes: communication, leading by example, fairness, and going above and beyond.

Agency Outreach
OPM Releases Government-wide Results from 2021 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey

On April 29, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released the government-wide results of the 2021 OPM Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (OPM FEVS). It administers the tool as “an organizational climate survey administered to the federal workforce to provide agencies a snapshot of how their employees view their current work environment and help inform future agency actions.”

“Federal employees are deeply motivated by their commitment to public service,” said OPM Director Kiran Ahuja.

OPM distributed the annual survey in 2021, with invitations sent to nearly 870,000 employees. A total of 292,520 employees completed a survey for a response rate of 34 percent.

Media Matters
FMA Quoted on Pay Cap / Salary Compression Issue

On April 19, Mike Causey, host of ‘Your Turn with Mike Causey’ on Federal News Network, wrote an article discussing the federal pay cap, the ever-growing salary compression, and its impact on recruitment and retention. He cited a discussion with an FMA member, who offered insights and how this issue affects a growing number of federal managers. FMA will push for a reasonable pay raise in 2023, supporting the FAIR Act (H.R. 6398 / S. 3518) and continue to urge Congress to address the problem of salary compression.

Causey wrote, "We also heard from an IRS employee and member of the Federal Managers Association on the West Coast who aspires to an executive level job. But as he points out, there isn’t much of an incentive (from a salary standpoint) to take it:

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  • Phone: (703) 683-8700
  • Fax: (703) 683-8707
  • Email: info@fedmanagers.org