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Federal Employees News Digest : Oct. 8, 2012
4 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com Under the agreement with APWU, USPS would make the payments in two install- ments. Eligible employees who accept the offer would get a first installment of $10,000 on May 24, 2013, and a second one of $5,000 a year later on May 23, 2014. "Our goal was to achieve an incentive for members who are ready to end their postal careers; to ensure that no groups of employ- ees are excluded, and to lessen the hardships of excessing for those who remain," said APWU President Cliff Guffey in announc- ing the agreement. Deadlines Most full-time employees would have to leave by Jan. 31, 2013. Part-time postal employees and employees in non-traditional full-time assignments of fewer than 40 hours a week would have to separate by Feb. 28, 2013, as would employees in accounting ser- vices positions in the IT/Accounting Services bargaining unit. Full-time employees must accept the offer by Dec. 3, and part-time employees and NTFT employees must accept by Jan. 4, 2013. APWU said there is no limit on the num- ber of employees who may accept the offer, with the exception of employees working in accounting services in the IT/ASC bargain- ing unit. There are limits on the number of those employees who may accept the offer from the ASCs in Eagan, Minn.; San Mateo, Calif.; and St. Louis, Mo. The maximum number of those employees who may accept the offer in those facilities are 30 in Eagan, 10 in San Mateo and 20 in St. Louis. APWU said that employees who previ- ously scheduled a retirement date earlier than Jan. 31, 2013, may retire on their sched- uled date and receive the incentive. Those who already have scheduled retirement after that date must change their date to Jan. 31, 2013, to be eligible to receive the incentive. Employees must have at least 20 years of service and be 50 years of age, or have 25 years of service at any age to be eli- gible. Eligible employees who do not qualify for regular or early retirement but wish to receive the incentive may resign. More information on deadlines, eligibility and restrictions is available at: https://liteblue. usps.gov/humanresources/workforceconnec- tion/pdf/APWU_incentive_at_a_glance.pdf ••• In Brief Group fights removal of federal poultry inspectors A broad-based coalition this month urged the Department of Agriculture to abandon a proposal that would remove hundreds of federal inspectors from poultry processing plants. The coalition, made up of 23 groups and 16 individuals, earlier this month sent a let- ter to the department asking it to withdraw a plan that would change the USDA's poul- try slaughter inspection program to allow companies to use plant employees to con- duct certain kinds of inspection currently performed by federal poultry inspectors. At the same time, the plan would permit faster processing line speeds. "Specifically, the coalition is alarmed by the proposed increase in poultry slaughter line speeds to 175 birds per minute, a five- fold increase over current speeds," stated a release issued by the coalition. "At such rates, government inspectors would have only one-third of a second to examine each chicken carcass for food safety risks and other problems." The coalition also expressed concerns that the proposed rule contained no mention of mandated training for plant employees who would assume inspection tasks, and that those employees could be pressured by employers to pass more carcasses, allowing more defective ones to enter the food supply. Moreover, the coalition said, the proposal contains no standard for testing, and would allow each plant to develop its own testing protocol. "Plants would also not be required to test for salmonella or campylobacter, the two foodborne pathogens most often associated with raw poultry," the group said. Coalition members who signed the let- ter included the AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, Consumer Federation of America, Food & Water Watch, Government Accountability Project, National Consumers League, National Council of La Raza, OMB Watch, Public Citizen, Southern Poverty Law Center and others. Individual signers included academics and professionals from areas of medicine, public health, environmental and occupational health, and law. Members of the coalition in April also pre- sented USDA with 150,000 petitions oppos- ing the plan. To see more, go to: http://www.consumer- fed.org/news/598. More service members get roth tSP Active-duty members of the Air Force, Army and Navy are able to contribute to the Thrift Savings Plan Roth option as of Oct. 1, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service said. After-tax contributions to the plan will be electronically deducted from service members' pay accounts. Active-duty service members can initiate Roth TSP contribu- tions through their online MyPay accounts, or by submitting a TSP-U-1 form to their finance office. Active-duty Marines, guardsmen, reserv- ists and civilians paid by DFAS have been able to make Roth TSP contributions since June. Service members in other branches of the National Guard and Reserve (except those in the Marine Corps) will be able to make Roth TSP contributions sometime in mid- to late 2013. The difference in start dates for various services is due to changes that have to be made in the systems used by different mili- tary organizations in order to comply with Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board requirements, DFAS said. To see more, go to: http://www.dfas. mil/pressroom/dfasnewsreleasearchive/ Release0912002.html. Prc says service changes not needed for savings Postal regulators said last month that the U.S. Postal Service may be able to gener- ate savings without eliminating overnight delivery of first-class mail and making other changes to service standards as part its plan to continued from page 3 October 8, 2012 Vol. 62, No. 13 4 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com continued on page 8
Oct. 1, 2012
Oct. 15, 2012