US Capitol Incident Remarks

I am deeply troubled and astonished by what occurred at the U.S. Capitol Building. The U.S. Capitol Building is the symbol of our democracy and where our laws and our principles are debated and upheld.  It is also the place where hundreds of federal civilian and military servants work every day.  The Capitol represents “The Peoples House” and it simply cannot be defiled. 

Federally Employed Women (FEW) supports a safe and equal environment to work together for the inclusion of everyone’s voice.  All voices must be heard, yet, the display yesterday stopped our National Representatives from conducting the business of our nation and put federal workers in harms way.  FEW sends our condolences to the families of those who lost their lives yesterday in the U.S. Capitol Building.  We are disheartened over the actions of so few.  

Although this blight on our nation happened, I know we are better than this and our best days are ahead of us, not behind. We stand unified with Congress, their staffs, security professionals, police officers or maintenance personnel at the Capitol.  We took an oath to protect and serve and that is exactly what we will do.

May God Bless America!

Karen Rainey

National President

Announcing Virtual Leadership Summit

Virtual Leadership Summit Banner

Greetings FEW Members and Friends of FEW,

It is in times of darkness when we show ourselves as adaptable and strong.  The National Board of Directors (NBOD) and I are pleased to announce the first Virtual Leadership Summit for government employees scheduled for July 20 – 24, 2020.  This training is just for you; no per diem, no travel, just TRAINING at a low registration rate!

Following increased and overwhelming concerns about the COVID-19 virus, FEW remains resolved that your safety is our priority and the best way to proceed during such an unprecedented global situation was to cancel an on-site event. As the world continues to change, we will continue to adapt.  FEW will always rise to the challenge and continue to help federal workers achieve excellence in their careers and create new opportunities.

That is why we adjusted our plans to host a Virtual Leadership Summit.  This is an example of leadership at its best – a full week of training with specialized tracks for EEO, HR, Project Management, Management and Leadership professionals. This training is about you and our purpose is to connect you to the right resources for development and career advancement.  The Summit consists of over 24 specialized courses a day to motivate you to take that next bold step. All courses align with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Executive Core Competencies (Leading People, Leading Change, Business Acumen, Result Driven and Building Coalitions).

We will be continually updating information regarding course selections, and special events, just to name a few, so keep checking in for updates.

So, make sure you join us and take advantage of all that we have to offer! I promise it will be your best personal and professional investment of the year!

Public Service 5K Run/Walk

May 4, 2014, marks the kickoff of Public Service Recognition Week,(http://publicservicerecognitionweek.org/) a celebration of the contributions federal, state, and local employees
make every day.  The Federal Employee Education & Assistance Fund (http://www.feea.org) will once again benefit from the proceeds of the race.

If you’ll be in the DC-area on May 4, the Public Service 5K (http://publicservicerecognitionweek.org/events/5k.shtml)  is a great way to show your support for federal, state, and local employees.  The run/walk takes place rain or shine at Anacostia Park, with a great view of the Potomac River and Nationals’ Park.  Don’t wait,  sign up now! (http://www.active.com/washington-dc/running/distance-running-races/public-service-5k-2014)

up, as well as for a  variety of functions during the race.  All volunteers receive a free shirt.  If you are interested in volunteering, please send an email (mailto:agensch@feea.org) with your name and contact information.

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House Budget Plan Has Familiar Look

The House Budget Committee has unveiled a plan for the upcoming fiscal year that once again seeks to reduce the federal workforce by attrition and increase required contributions toward retirement, among other familiar provisions. The plan still must go through the full committee and then to a House vote — and then likely will go no farther. The Senate doesn’t plan to produce a counterpart, arguing that a budget deal reached last December provides sufficient guidance for specific spending bills for the budget year starting October 1. The House plan does however amount to staking out positions on issues, including recommendations to: raise the employee share toward retirement benefits while decreasing the government share so that they become equal, which would mean about a 5.5 percentage point increase in the employee share; allow for filling only one of three vacancies, with an exception for national security jobs, until the workforce is reduced by 10 percent; eliminating the student loan reimbursement program; and ending the FERS “special retirement supplement” for those who retire before age 62, for future retirees. The plan contains no provisions regarding premium sharing in the FEHB program nor does it endorse switching to the less-generous “chained” CPI in federal retirement and other inflation-adjusted programs—likely meaning that those issues are off the table for the year.

Transit Subsidy May Rebound

A Senate committee is set to consider this week a tax measure that among other things would restore the “public transit subsidy” to a higher level. A temporary boost in the payment expired at the end of 2013, causing the maximum monthly amount that an individual can receive tax-free to fall from $240 to $130. The measure before the Finance Committee would raise the amount to $250 a month, effective retroactive to the start of this year and carrying through 2015. Some agencies pay the subsidy directly to employees in the form of transit passes that can be used for public transportation or van pools, while some allow employees to have the maximum amount deducted from pay on a pre-tax basis.

OPM Reports on Workforce Demographics

Following are excerpts from a recently issued annual report in which OPM examines the demographics of the federal workforce, including trends. Findings for FY 2012  The number of minorities in the FW increased by 1.2 percent from 662,991 in FY 2011 to 670,853 in FY 2012. The FW is 17.9 percent Black, 8.2 percent Hispanic, 5.8 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, 1.7 percent American Indian/Alaska Native, 1.0 percent Non-Hispanic/Multi-Racial, and 65.4 percent White. Minorities as a whole constituted 34.6 percent of the FW. Men comprised 56.5 percent of all Federal permanent employees and women 43.5 percent. Notably, the Federal government still faces challenges with regard to the full employment of Hispanics, as they constitute 8.2 percent of the FW.  The Senior Executive Service (SES) is now more diverse than ever. The SES is 10.5 percent Black, 4.1 percent Hispanic, 3.3 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, 1.4 percent American Indian/Alaska Native, and 0.6 percent Non-Hispanic/Multi-Racial. In addition, women now make up 33.5 percent of the SES.  OPM Initiatives  Since 2009 President Obama has signed various Executive Orders aimed at promoting a diverse and inclusive Federal workforce. On August 19, 2011, the President signed and issued Executive Order 13583, Establishing a Coordinated Government-Wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce, in order to promote the Federal workplace as a model of equality, diversity, and inclusion. On November 17, 2011, OPM issued the Government-Wide Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, which identified three goals for implementation by agencies to include Workforce Diversity, Workplace Inclusion, and Sustainability. Fifty-seven agencies submitted agency-specific Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plans, and they continue to actively implement those plans with guidance from OPM.  On November 9, 2009, President Obama signed Executive Order 13518, Employment of Veterans in the Federal Government, which established the Veterans Employment Initiative. In the first full year, the Executive Branch of the Government hired the highest percentage of veterans in more than 20 years.  In addition, OPM is committed to assisting agencies in implementing Executive Order 13548, Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities. The goal under Executive Order 13548 is to hire 100,000 people with disabilities in all job series and at all grade levels by 2015 in order to enable the Federal Government to tap into this rich source of diverse talent. Initial FY 2012 data indicates an increase in the hiring of people with disabilities as compared to 2011, and in FY 2011, Americans with disabilities, including veterans who are 30 percent or more disabled, made up 14.7 percent of new hires, a 20-year high.  To address difficulties recruiting and hiring students, recent graduates and Veterans, President Obama signed Executive Order 13562, Recruiting and Hiring Students and Recent Graduates, on December 27, 2010. This executive order establishes the Pathways Program, consisting of three excepted-service programs tailored to recruit, hire, develop, and retain students and recent graduates to include veterans. Under this program, OPM is conducting outreach to, among others, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and Asian American and American Indian/Alaska Native Pacific Islander Serving Institutions. Additionally, through the creation of the Governmentwide Veterans Recruitment and Employment Strategic Plan for FY 2010–FY 2012, OPM is helping agencies to meet the overarching goal to increase the percentage of veterans hired in the Federal Executive Branch.  Due to the challenge of underrepresentation of Hispanics in the Federal workforce, OPM renewed the Hispanic Council on Federal Employment (Council) through 2014. This Council, which brings together leaders from the Hispanic community, Human Resources (HR), Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), and Diversity and Inclusion (D&I), is actively advising the Director of OPM on specific practices and recommendations related to the recruitment, hiring, retention, and advancement of Hispanics in the Federal workplace.  Finally, the OPM is working with the Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCO) Council and agencies to assess current and emerging skills gaps and develop strategies to close these gaps in mission-critical occupations and skills areas that have the greatest impact on government-wide, and agency-specific, performance. The desired outcomes of this effort are: (1) increased proficiency levels in targeted skills areas through training, and (2) institutionalized processes for identifying and addressing skills gaps (government-wide and agency-specific). Major findings in the FY 2012 FEORP Report are: The number of minorities in the FW increased by 1.2percent from 662,991 to 670,853 in FY 2012. * Blacks represented 17.9 percent (346,824) of the FW in 2012 and 17.8 percent (345,679) in FY 2011. The representation of Blacks in the CLF was 10.1 percent in 2012 and 2011.  * Hispanics represented 8.2 percent (159,639) of the FW in 2012, compared to 8.1 percent (157,648) in FY 2011. The representation of Hispanics in the CLF2 was 14.2 percent in 2012, compared to 13.6 in 2011.  * Asian/Pacific Islanders represented 5.8 percent (112,261) of the FW in 2012, compared to 5.6 percent (109,871) in FY 2011. The representation of Asians/Pacific Islanders in the CLF3 was 4.9 percent in 2012, compared to 4.4 in 2011. * American Indian/Alaska Natives represented 1.7 percent (33,171) of the FW in 2012 and 1.7 percent (33,761) in FY 2011. American Indian/Alaska Natives representation in the CLF was 0.9 percent in 2012, compared to 0.7 in 2011.  * Non-Hispanic Multi-Racial employees represented 1.0 percent (18,958) of the FW in 2012 compared to 0.8 (16,032) in FY 2011. The representation of Non-Hispanic Multi-Racial employees in the CLF was 1.7 percent in 2012, compared to 1.2 in 2011.  * White employees represented 65.4 percent (1,270,362) of the permanent FW as of September 30, 2012, compared to 65.9 (1,281,659). The representation of White employees in the CLF was 68.5 percent in 2012, compared to 70.0 percent in 2011.  * Women represented 43.5 percent (844,223) of the FW in 2012, compared to 43.6 percent (848,257) in FY 2011. The representation of women in the CLF was 46.3 percent in 2012, and the same in 2011