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'Hairspray' creator encourages participation in public service

July 14, 2005 The Partnership for Public Service got an unusual helping hand Wednesday night at a fund-raiser for the nonprofit organization. John Waters, writer and director of the movie Hairspray, lent his name, franchise and a touch of his absurdity to a benefit on opening night of Hairspray's musical version at the...

Eyes on the Prize

July 14, 2005 It's only July and already the House has passed a 3.1 percent pay raise for civil service workers in 2006, but does that mean employees will get their raises on time? Not necessarily. It's true that House members worked to get their measure, which was included in the 2006 Transportation-Treasury...

DHS reorganization won’t stop implementation of personnel rules

July 13, 2005 A plan announced Wednesday that would overhaul the Homeland Security Department will have no immediate effect on the Aug. 1 implementation of new personnel regulations at DHS. However, officials are not ruling out changes down the line. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff unveiled a broad plan for reorganizing DHS based...

Union members rally against Defense, DHS personnel changes

July 12, 2005 Hundreds of union members gathered near the Capitol on Tuesday to protest new personnel regulations in the Defense and Homeland Security departments. Protesters decried the changes to the collective bargaining system and the replacement of the General Schedule with a pay-for-performance system they say is unfair. The unions argued that...

DHS defends new personnel rules against unions’ assault

July 11, 2005 The Homeland Security Department responded Friday to an attempt by a group of labor unions to halt the introduction of new personnel regulations, arguing the effort is unwarranted and contrary to public interest. The department filed a motion opposing an injunction that several unions requested on June 22. The National...

Lawmakers lean on TSP board to study real estate investment fund

July 8, 2005 House lawmakers are pressing the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board to bring in a consultant to investigate the feasibility of adding a real estate investment fund to the Thrift Savings Plan. In a July 6 letter to Chairman Andrew Saul, four House members reminded him of the panel's agreement in...

Union employees at Commerce opt for pay-for-performance

July 7, 2005 Federal labor unions have expressed concerns about proposals to implement pay-for-performance systems across government. But employees from two labor union chapters are voluntarily participating in a pay-for-performance demonstration underway at the Commerce Department. The pay-for-performance system links employee compensation to perceived performance on the job. This approach is an alternative...

Red Pen Scare

July 7, 2005 Officials at the Homeland Security Department are weeding through pre-existing collective bargaining agreements to seek out unenforceable provisions, according to a DHS employee. "Unenforceable," according to the labor management directive from DHS, means those "provisions in a collective bargaining agreement that are inconsistent" with the department's personnel system. Michael Knowles...

Report lays out options for managing poor performers

July 6, 2005 Giving new workers a probationary period for their first two years is one technique organizations have used in an effort to weed out poor performers, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office. The idea, included in the Homeland Security Department's recent personnel overhaul, is just one of...

Senior executives share management lessons gained in Iraq

July 6, 2005 Lawyers in Washington take affidavits as a matter of practice, but according to recently retired Justice Department attorney John Euler, you haven't lived until you've taken one in Iraq while holding a gun, using an Arabic translator and "trying to look like you know what you're doing." Euler's experience was...

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