News Briefs

January 15, 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--"Despite wishful-thinking reports sweeping some federal offices, most federal workers won't get a bonus holiday, extra pay, comp time or anything else because Inauguration Day and the Martin Luther King Jr., holiday both occur next Monday" (The Washington Post).

BLUE CROSS MERGER--"The Blue Cross-Blue Shield plans that serve 2 million members in Maryland and the Washington metropolitan area announced yesterday they are merging to better compete in the region's highly competitive health care market" (The Washington Post).

WORKPLACE ISSUES--"Workers suffering from a serious illness or chronic condition say they often experience discrimination that is real but hard to pinpoint. Cancer patients say myths hamper their ability to continue working" (USA TODAY).

WOMEN--A new survey of economic data published by the Independent Women's Forum and the American Enterprise Institute says, "American women enjoy the best and most rewarding job market in the world." Women, minorities and older workers can face considerable challenge in the workplace. Nevertheless, these problems are fading (The Wall Street Journal, Editorial).

PLAN FOR AILING DISTRICT--Under a proposed plan to help the financially troubled District of Columbia, the federal government would assume financial and administrative responsibility for pension plans for the District's police, firefighters, teachers and judges" (The New York Times).

WORK & FAMILY--A corporate workforce director of diversity has persuaded dozens of employers to pool funds to finance improvements in community child-care and elder-care services in the regions where they operate. "The shared vision he articulates increasingly drives the family-care strategies of many big employers" (The Wall Street Journal, Work & Family).

SICK INSPECTIONS--"The German Cabinet agreed yesterday that government employees who call in sick and miss work should be visited at home to check whether they really are ill. The government's scare tactics are meant to rein in rising costs and make public administration more efficient (The Washington Times).

OTHER VIEWS--FEHBP questions and answers (Retirement Life Magazine, Washington, DC, January 1997)...Sources of information for FEHBP (Faquier Times-Democrat, Warrenton, VA, Dec. 18)...Scott and White Health Plan gets high marks in FEHBP survey (Rockdale Reporter, Rockdale, TX, Dec. 19; Hamilton Herald-News, Hamilton, TX, Dec. 19; Round Rock Leader, Round Rock, TX, Dec. 19).

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