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Federal Employees News Digest : Feb. 11, 2013
credit of the United States will no longer be used as a pawn to extract painful cuts to Medicare, Social Security or other initia- tives that benefit the middle class," Reid said before the vote. "A clean debt ceiling increase that allows the United States to meet its existing obli- gations should be the standard," he said. "Congress will continue to work to reduce the deficit. But we'll do it without the threat of default over our heads." House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) focused instead on the pay-suspension aspect of the bill. "It shouldn't have taken legislative action by the House to force the Democratic major- ity in the Senate to do its job," Boehner said in a statement after the bill cleared the Senate. "But after nearly four years of inaction on a budget by Senate Democrats, that's what it came to. Because of the efforts of House Republicans, Senate Democrats are now required to do their job for the American people and pass a budget, or lose their pay." To see more, go to: http://thomas.loc.gov/ cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d113:H.R.325: Sba employees get new contract The Small Business Administration and the American Federation of Government Employees on Jan. 31 announced a new labor agreement. The three-year contract, which covers about 2,000 federal employ- ees at the agency, took effect immediately. The union said the contract implements a number of changes to benefit SBA employ- ees. Provisions in the contract permit employees to work a four-day week at 10 hours a day; initiate a streamlined process that makes it easier to gain approval to tele- work; and create an expedited arbitration process for workers who contest perfor- mance appraisal ratings or denial of within- grade increases. The contract also expands transit subsi- dies for all employees and institutes a series of awards to recognize employees who sug- gest agency improvements or exhibit out- standing performance, AFGE said. "The signing of this contract signifies a positive shift in the relationship between AFGE and SBA and will help improve employee morale and the effectiveness of SBA in fulfilling the mission of the agen- cy," said Elaine Powell-Belnavis, president AFGE Council 228, which represents SBA employees nationwide. Va says suicide report most comprehensive ever The Department of Veterans Affairs on Feb 1. released a report on veteran suicides that for the first time also incorporates data on vets not treated by the department. Previously, data on vets who died by sui- cide was available only for those who had sought VA health care. The new report also includes state data for veterans who had not received health care services from VA. The department said it will use the additional data to strengthen its suicide-prevention activities. VA called the report "the most compre- hensive study of veteran suicide rates ever undertaken by the department." In 2010, February 11, 2013 Vol. 62, No. 28 5 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com continued from page 4 One Website... Breaking News Policy Reference Legal Updates Job Listings Forums Career Blogs Retirement Strategy Pay & Bene ts Guidance Financial Planning ...Hundreds of Resources www.FederalDaily.com Check in daily to: • Read headlines and top stories, including breaking policy news • Find job opportunities and federal resources inside FedCentral • Join the conversation with 50,000+ feds in the Federal Soup forums • Shop for federal benefts and retirement guides in the FedStore continued on page 8
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