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Wage Scale Change, Vets’ Preference Expansion, No-Interest Loans and More

July 20, 2016 The Office of Personnel Management wants to redefine the geographic boundaries for the New York and Philadelphia wage areas. The move would put the entire Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, located in central New Jersey, in the New York metropolitan area. Currently, portions of the military installation formerly known as Fort Dix...

Quiz: How Well Do You Know the Hatch Act?

July 14, 2016 Everyone seems to have a lot to say about the 2016 presidential election, and federal employees are likely no exception. But unlike most members of the general public, civil servants are subject to restrictions in the Hatch Act and have to be very careful about how, when and where they...

Pay Raise Progress, Protections Against Layoffs, a Delay in SafeTrack Relief and More

July 13, 2016 The past week brought some good news on next year’s civilian pay raise. The House passed its version of the fiscal 2017 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, which – by virtue of staying silent on the issue – would allow President Obama’s proposed 1.6 percent 2017 raise to...

Expanded Education Benefits, Executive Bonus Boost and More

July 6, 2016 Effective immediately, federal employees are eligible for tuition reductions for graduate and professional studies programs at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. The agreement between Saint Mary’s and the Office of Personnel Management applies to both online and on-campus programs. According to an announcement from OPM, the benefit is part of...

Momentum on Phased Retirement, Scrutiny of Senior Exec Bonuses and More

June 22, 2016 The biggest benefits news this week may be that the Defense Department is on board with phased retirement. Defense civilians who have been employed at the department full time for at least three consecutive years and are retirement eligible will now be able to take advantage of the arrangement, so...

Pay Raise Action, Higher Ed Discounts, TRICARE Flexibility and More

June 15, 2016 Lawmakers continue to tussle over federal pay. Last Thursday, the Senate rejected an amendment to the 2017 defense authorization bill that would have given service members a 2.1 percent pay raise. The measure had been pushed by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. As Federal News Radio noted, McCain bluntly told his...

TSP Glitch, New Leadership Courses, VA Benefit Changes and More

June 8, 2016 The Office of Personnel Management is offering two new Web-based leadership courses for agencies to use in their executive development programs: Emotionally Intelligent Leadership and Leading Change. Emotionally Intelligent Leadership is designed to help federal leaders “apply the principles of emotional intelligence, defined as the capacity for recognizing our own...

SafeTrack Update: One Agency Offers Temporary Parking Passes

June 8, 2016 This article has been updated with information from the National Institutes of Health and the Pentagon. The Washington Metrorail’s marathon of major track repairs and upgrades started Saturday, and capital region residents – including federal employees – were preparing for serious disruptions to their daily commutes. To minimize the impact...

Find Your Co-workers’ Salaries, Telework During Metro Repairs and More

May 25, 2016 Feds in the Washington area might want to think about sprucing up their home offices. The Office of Personnel Management has established an interagency working group through the Chief Human Capital Officers Council to determine how federal agencies can minimize disruption from the recently announced year-long SafeTrack plan to repair...

An Almost-Routine Pay Freeze, Defending Senior Execs’ Bonuses, Bonding With Trump and More

May 18, 2016 For federal employees tired of lawmakers’ frequent attacks on their pay and benefits, it may be comforting to know that House members are giving themselves a dose of their own medicine. The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved a fiscal 2017 legislative branch spending bill that would freeze representatives’ pay...

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