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Postal Service health plan still on the radar

September 28, 2011 As federal employees gear up to consider new health insurance options, the U.S. Postal Service is pushing forward with a plan to build its own benefits program. Postal officials have been seeking legislative changes that would allow the agency to leave the government-run Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and create...

USPS labor contracts limit agency flexibility, report finds

September 27, 2011 Labor contract provisions governing pay and jobs limit the U.S. Postal Service's ability to manage its workforce, according to a new audit. In the Sept. 19 report, the Postal Service inspector general found that the agency's inability to temporarily assign employees to different jobs, use part-time workers and adjust compensation...

Feds’ health premiums to rise 3.5 percent

September 27, 2011 The average amount federal employees pay for their health insurance plans will rise 3.5 percent in 2012, the Office of Personnel Management announced Tuesday. The total average premium increase for nonpostal plans in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program will be 3.8 percent, or $15.33. Of that, government contributions will...

Federal job applicants headed for a better shopping experience

September 26, 2011 An overhaul of the government's job application system, set to go live next month, will make finding a federal position more like shopping for shoes, according to an Office of Personnel Management official. USAJobs 3.0, designed to make the process smoother for potential hires and federal recruiters alike, will debut...

Honeymoon is short-lived for new feds

September 26, 2011 Federal agencies are going to have to work a little bit harder to keep employees excited and engaged beyond the first few years after they are hired -- what observers call the honeymoon period. The nonprofit Partnership for Public Service this month released a study showing that 75.3 percent of...

McCain Jumps In On Postal Problems

September 23, 2011 Seems everyone wants a hand in the U.S. Postal Service's troubles -- especially as the clock ticks toward the agency's impending default on obligations to its retiree health benefits account. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on Friday introduced a companion bill to legislation sponsored earlier this year by Reps. Darrell Issa,...

OPM pays out $601 million in benefits to the dead

September 22, 2011 The federal government is losing an average of $120 million annually in improper payments to deceased annuitants, according to a new audit. A report from the Office of Personnel Management inspector general published Thursday found that in the past five years, the agency has distributed more than $601 million from...

SES diversity predicted to fall short in 2030 and beyond

September 22, 2011 The Senior Executive Service will continue to lag in employment of women and minorities over the next two decades and beyond, according to a progressive advocacy group. A new report, released on Thursday by the Center for American Progress, found that diversity in the SES will not reflect the makeup...

Insurance Extensions

September 22, 2011 Federal employees have a range of benefits related to their well-being, including group health, dental and vision coverage, flexible spending accounts, and access to group life insurance and long-term care insurance. But when it comes to assistance for those who are unable to work due to disability, the options narrow....

Lawmakers move GOP postal reform bill forward

September 21, 2011 Republican-backed legislation to overhaul the U.S. Postal Service on Wednesday gained approval of a House subcommittee. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, would allow USPS to drop a delivery day and adjust labor costs. Specifically, it would mandate parity...

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