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EEOC threatens furloughs for employees

October 11, 2011 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission employees could be facing furloughs thanks to proposed cuts in the agency's fiscal 2012 budget. In an email to staff late last month, EEOC Chairwoman Jacqueline Berrien wrote that a drop in funding could force the agency to consider furloughs for its nearly 1,800 workers. The...

OPM expands affinity benefits for same-sex domestic partners

October 7, 2011 Same-sex domestic partners of federal employees will have expanded access to health care coverage next year, according to the Office of Personnel Management. OPM late last month announced an average 3.5 percent premium increase for Federal Employees Health Benefits Program plans in 2012, along with additional plans that will provide...

Spending bills threaten Foreign Service pay and hiring

October 6, 2011 Legislation that significantly reduces Foreign Service pay would hinder the State Department's ability to conduct its mission, observers say. The Senate Appropriations committee late last month approved a funding bill for 2012 that would cut State's budget by 8 percent, while the House Appropriations committee is holding on to legislation...

Tough Times

October 6, 2011 There's no question that federal employees are feeling vulnerable, given the continuing debate over proposals targeting their pay and benefits. Civilian workers are still working under a two-year pay freeze and the Obama administration's deficit reduction plan would raise employees' pension contribution levels in the near future. But perhaps the...

Postal Service remains in limbo

October 5, 2011 Major reform of the U.S. Postal Service will be on hold for the foreseeable future, as an array of proposals slowly work their way through Congress. The latest continuing resolution to fund the government through Nov. 18 extends the Postal Service's deadline to make a $5.5 billion prepayment to its...

Federal hiring of Hispanics slows, nearly flat

October 4, 2011 Hispanic representation in the federal workforce has increased just 0.2 percent in the past four years, according to new data from the Office of Personnel Management. In its annual report on Hispanic employment in government released on Sept. 30, OPM found that the group's representation among federal civilian employees held...

Retirement plan funds continue downward spiral

October 3, 2011 All but two of the investment options in the federal employee retirement savings plan posted losses in September for the fifth month in a row, bringing returns so far this year further into the negative. The Thrift Savings Plan's S Fund, which invests in small and midsize companies and tracks...

Emerging Leaders

October 1, 2011 Young executives are taking their passion for public service to the top. As government grapples with seemingly intractable problems like shrinking budgets, overlapping missions and cumbersome processes from bygone days, there is some good news. Young leaders are stepping up to redefine the way federal agencies work through better technology,...

Health care fees for military retirees set to increase this weekend

September 30, 2011 Military retirees who enroll in the Defense Department's health care program will see an increase in annual fees starting Oct. 1. Beneficiaries who join TRICARE Prime in fiscal 2012 will pay an additional $2.50 per month for individual members and $5 per month for family enrollment -- bringing the total...

Military families to see additional leave benefits

September 29, 2011 Expanded leave benefits for federal employees who have an immediate family member serving on active duty overseas will take hold next month, according to the Office of Personnel Management. In a final rule to be published in Friday's Federal Register, OPM is extending up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave...

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