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FMA Washington Report: May 5, 2023

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 monthly 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 (info@fedmanagers.org) 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.

What's Affecting Feds?
COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement for Feds to Formally End on May 11

On May 1, the Biden Administration announced its plan to end the Covid-19 vaccine mandate for feds and federal contractors, effective at the end of the day on Thursday, May 11, 2023, which is also the declared end of the Covid-19 public health emergency.

In a statement from the White House, the Administration said, “While vaccination remains one of the most important tools in advancing the health and safety of employees and promoting the efficiency of workplaces, we are now able to move beyond broad sector-wide requirements.” The announcement noted “we are in a different place in the pandemic response, following the historic progress we have made to ensure that individuals have the information and tools they need to keep themselves and their communities safe.”

Update on Long Term Care Program: Rate Increases Coming in 2024

FMA National Office staff received an update from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) on the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) on May 3, 2023. Most current enrollees of FLTCIP can expect a premium increase effective January 1, 2024. The program, which began a new 7-year contract with John Hancock Life & Health Insurance earlier this week, is currently prohibited from accepting new enrollees until December 2024, at the earliest.

Paul Forte, CEO of Long Term Care Partners, sent a message to FLTCIP enrollees addressing the updates to come for the program, and OPM shared the letter with FMA. You can view that letter here. Information on the amount of the upcoming rate increase is not currently available. We will learn specifics about the rate increases and options for enrollees in the Fall of 2023, and we will share what we learn with all FMA members.

Legislative Outreach
FMA Outlines Concerns and Objections with Debt Ceiling Legislation

On May 2, FMA National President Craig Carter expressed concern and objections with House-passed legislation to address the debt ceiling. The legislation, the Limit, Save, Grow Act of 2023 (H.R. 2811) passed on April 26 by a vote of 217-215, mostly along party lines. "FMA recognizes Congress and the Biden Administration clearly need to craft a solution to the looming debt ceiling issue,” Carter wrote. “No one – Democrat, Republican, or independent – wants to see the country default on our debts, knowing the financial crisis that would cause around the world, and we acknowledge H.R. 2811 as a continuation of the dialogue toward a reasonable, sustainable solution. However, the bill, as passed by the House, regrettably misses the mark.

“The bill would undercut all federal agencies by capping spending at Fiscal Year 2022 levels, resulting in a 22 percent cut for all but the Department of Defense. This would cripple most agencies, resulting in catastrophic job cuts, hiring freezes, furloughs, pay cuts, and elimination of overtime for remaining employees. This is unacceptable treatment of the dedicated public servants who worked through the Covid-19 pandemic at their own personal risk to provide services to the American people: services such as providing for the country’s defense, health care for our veterans, ensuring food safety, processing of Social Security benefits and tax returns, and so much more. Many field offices providing these services would close, and the extreme reduction in resources would directly impact all Americans with increased wait times, delays, and unenforced laws.

Agency Outreach
OPM Release Data Strategy Plan for 2023-2026

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released its OPM Data Strategy covering Fiscal Years 2023-2026 on April 26. The document “lays out a vision to fully leverage OPM and agency human capital data, and to provide federal agencies, federal employees, and public users seamless access to OPM data products and services.” You can view the full document, as well as a set data dashboards, on the OPM Data Portal at www.opm.gov/data.

“As envisioned in the President’s Management Agenda and in OPM’s mission and vision, OPM is poised to be recognized as a premiere provider of human capital data services by building innovative service delivery models, analytics, and digital solutions that enable federal agencies to make better decisions,” said Kiran Ahuja, OPM Director, in a press release. “OPM's first broad human capital data strategy is not meant to be only internally focused. It will also have a transformative effect for agencies, lifting up the use of data and advanced analytics across agencies and their partners to new heights in data-driven and evidence-based decision-making.”

2022 CHCO Council Report to Congress

Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kiran Ahuja and Chief Human Capitol Officers (CHCO) Director Margot Conrad submitted the 2022 CHCO Council Report to Congress in early May, pursuant to Public Law 107-296. The 33-page report, which details council activities in 2022, can be viewed at this link. The CHCO Council, is an “interagency forum established in 2002 to advise and coordinate activities of member agencies on matters of federal personnel policy and practices.”

The CHCO Council worked on many issues affecting managers in 2022, including the President’s Management Agenda, OPM data strategy, pay and compensation, hiring policy and innovations, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, and much more. The report notes the CHCO Council established four priorities in 2022 that will carry forward to 2023:

Reminder: 2023 OPM Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey Coming Soon

The 2023 OPM Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (OPM FEVS) will be administered early this month, so keep an eye on your inbox! The FEVS gives feds an opportunity to express their views on their work environment and experience. Survey invitations will be sent in two waves over the course of two consecutive weeks in May.

“Assessing the employee work experience through the OPM FEVS is more critical than ever to achieve understanding of the new challenges employees and agencies face amidst this ever-changing work environment,” OPM Director Kiran Ahuja wrote. “Recognition of changes confronting employees and agencies have driven the addition of content to recent administrations of the OPM FEVS such as resilience, innovation, customer responsiveness, autonomy; Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA); and information sharing.”

FMA Working For You!
FMA: Actively Participating in Our Representative Democracy

FMA contributes a monthly column, "Hear it from FMA," published on FEDmanager.com on a variety of issues and topics. This month we discussed FMA's recent Day on the Hill, where FMA members met with their elected officials to advocate on behalf of management in the federal workforce.

The Federal Managers Association (FMA) recently met for its 85th annual National Convention and Management Training Seminar. FMA’s mission is to advocate for excellence in public service, and on March 29, 2023, FMA members from across the country did just that when they went to the US Capitol and met with their Senators and Representatives.

Get Involved At These Events!
Celebrate PSRW 2023! May 7-13, 2023

Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW) is here! It begins on Sunday, May 7 and runs through May 13. Since 1985, PSRW has been held to honor the people who serve our nation as federal, state, county, local and tribal government employees and celebrate their commitment to their fellow Americans. And every year, the Federal Managers Association has celebrated its members who do so much to make our country great! On May 5, President Biden issued a proclamation on PSRW 2023.

“At a time when public servants are facing threats and hostility simply for doing their jobs, their continued willingness to serve is even more meaningful and important,” Biden wrote. “We have an obligation to support them and to recognize and value their commitment and sacrifice. Our Nation’s future depends on ensuring our public servants have good jobs with competitive pay and benefits, along with the resources they need to accomplish their work.” To read the full proclamation, click here.

FMA Town Hall - Membership Discussion: Tuesday, May 16, 2023, 8:00 pm EDT

Please plan to join FMA National President Craig Carter, the FMA Executive Board, Executive Director Todd Wells and others for a membership discussion via Zoom on Tuesday, May 16, at 8:00 PM.

We plan to present an update on membership numbers, both recent and over the past several years.We will also report on the success of recent recruitment campaigns and other approaches we have used to attract new members. We also want to follow up on a concept that was raised at FMA's recent National Convention to open up membership to a wider audience than we have in the past. Finally, we'd like to hear your thoughts about other ways FMA can keep our membership strong in the coming years.

To join the meeting, click the link below:



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Advocating Excellence in Public Service

Why Join FMA?

The Association’s considerable influence stems from a team approach to advocacy. When lawmakers or agency decision-makers consider proposals that could adversely affect the management of the federal workforce, they quickly realize that TEAM FMA stands together to protect the interests of all its members.

Contact FMA

FMA National Office