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Federal Employees News Digest : June 17, 2013
Phil Piemonte, Managing Editor E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org What's Inside44 JUNE 17, 2013 • VOL. 62, NO. 46 Unions welcome phased retirement Federal employee unions are express- ing hope that a new phased retirement program that allows workers to retire in stages will give employees a useful new work option toward the end of their careers. Under the program, "phased retirees" will be able to work part-time and con- tinue to earn a portion of their former salary while simultaneously collecting half of their retirement annuity. The National Treasury Employees Union weighed in with approval of the program on its website: "NTEU expects implementation of phased retirement in the federal workplace to result in a considerable benefit to our nation by retaining vital institutional knowledge within federal agencies and providing for a longer transition period for agencies to replace retiring workers." And William R. Dougan, president of the National Federation of Federal Employees, called the program "a win- win for workers and the taxpayer." Phased retirement has been law for almost a year now. But it was not until June 5 that the Office of Personnel Management announced a long-awaited draft rule covering how it will work. The rule, when finalized, will permit agen- cies to approve employees who want to participate in the program. An eli- gible phased retiree will be required to work half-time while collecting a partial annuity. During phased retirement, the employee will be classified as a part-time employee, not a 'reemployed annuitant,' according to the draft rule. Good news amid the bad OPM's announcement that it had pub- lished the draft rule breaks a long stretch of gloomy news for feds---budget cuts, pay freezes and furloughs. Those events have deeply affected the federal work- force, whose numbers---as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported June 10---have dropped by a full 20 percent since May 2010. "These certainly have been hard times for federal workers---and there have been very few good things to cheer about," NFFE Communications Director Cory Bythrow told FEND. "But this is one of those good things." "It's not like this is a Christmas present to feds, though," Bythrow noted. "This actually is a very practical move by the government---a government that needs something to change at a time when you have tens of thousands of federal employees leaving their jobs early, leav- ing government work, because of all that bad news." "Just this calendar year alone, we've had something like 60,000 to 70,000 federal employees retiring, an incredible number, well above OPM's projections," Bythrow continued. "So, the government really needs a way to make sure its skills and knowledge stay in the government--- the way they should." "And we absolutely need something like this to get the best young folks com- ing in, train them up and continue to Dumb and dumber Suppose you are a TV critic. Or a talent scout looking for the next new Saturday Night Live cast. And sup- pose you are shown the now infamous $60,000 Internal Revenue Service Star Trek spoof video. Or a somewhat similar skit filmed by the western wild bunch at a 2010 Las Vegas conference held by the General Services Administration. What words would come to mind as you watched the clips (see www.youtube. com/watch?v=zLMA1cDwOvI), which were supposed to be hilarious? Would the word "funny," as in LOL funny, come to mind? A lot of people, including important members of Congress, have said that these taxpayer-funded funnies were not very funny. As in outrageous. Others might settle on "stupid" or "what were they thinking?" as ways to sum up the actions. Which got me to thinking ... When you are doing something that is pretty obviously stupid, or illegal (like having nonconsensual sex with some- body who is drunk and passed out), you don't film it. Period. And if you do, you don't post it on YouTube or e-mail it to a couple of friends. Or Facebook it. Except people do. Not just frat boys or walk-on-the-wild-side federal workers, either. Lots of people do it. Every year, the cream of Washington's INSIGHT BY MIKE CAUSEY continued on page 2 For more news...see Federal Daily at www.FederalDaily.com • Senator wants info on data loss 3 • In Brief 4 • Informed Investor 7 • Federal Benefits Q&A 8 continued on page 3
June 10, 2013
June 24, 2013