News Briefs

January 8, 1997

News Briefs

The following news summaries are from OPM AM, the daily newsletter of the Office of Personnel Management. OPM AM is available on OPM Mainstreet, the agency's electronic bulletin board, at 202-606-4800.

THE FEDERAL DIARY--Nearly 30,000 federal clerical workers in the Washington area and thousands of law enforcement personnel nationwide will get a pay raise this month because they are in hard-to-fill jobs . . . and . . . The Federal Employees Education and Assistance Fund is offering grants of as much as $250 and no-interest loans of as much as $450 to federal and postal workers whose homes or property have been lost or damaged because of floods in California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington (The Washington Post).

MLK HOLIDAY--"D.C. officials have quietly rescheduled the District's observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day from Jan. 20 to Feb. 17, eliminating it as a paid holiday this year and avoiding a huge payout to city workers . . . .The federal government decided in September to give local federal workers only one holiday for Jan. 20, a move that will save $55 million, according to OPM" (The Washington Times).

DRUG TEST--"The House yesterday took its first step toward establishing a program that would require members and their staffs to be tested for illegal drug use." The program is similar to one used by the Executive branch (The Washington Post).

SOCIAL SECURITY--All three of the reform proposals coming out of an advisory council on Social Security this week contain the suggestion that some of the program's surplus cash be invested in the stock market until it is needed (The Washington Post).

CAREER ADVICE--"I do believe that there is enormous power that lies within each of us to set a steady course of change that will lead to the growth, effectiveness, influence and deep satisfaction that we desire in our careers," says Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Suggestion number one: Take responsibility for your present situation and your future (USA TODAY).

EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS--In a letter to Ann Landers, a reader suggests: "When you receive letters from people who need professional help, please tell them to find out if they have access to an employee assistance program in their workplace or though a family member" (The Sun).

OF INTEREST--There's a reason we can't bear to get out of bed in the morning (The Washington Post).

OTHER VIEWS--Plum jobs now cataloged online (Tampa Tribune and Times, Tampa, FL, December 15)...During the coming year, "federal annuitants must anticipate renewed efforts to limit the government's share of FEHBP premiums" (Retirement Life Magazine, Washington, DC, December)...Reference to retirement benefits for a Cabinet member (Atlanta Journal, December 5)...Reference to FEHBP in a story about drug firms and their costs for lobbying in 1996 (Drug Topics, Montvale, MN, November 18).

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