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Federal Employees News Digest : June 24, 2013
June 24, 2013 Vol. 62, No. 47 5 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com health and life premium contributions that other federal workers pay, and "clari- fies the existing compensation parity required to exist between postal and pri- vate-sector workers." The bill also would subject postal employees to the same reduction-in-force authority that covers the rest of the federal workforce. The legislation also includes changes at the top. The current part-time USPS Board of Governors would be replaced under the bill with a temporary panel of five full-time executives tasked with turning USPS around and implement- ing cost-cutting measures. Once that turnaround is complete, the panel would be dissolved and the Board of Governors would resume its oversight. On the business side, the bill would give USPS the freedom to seek new rev- enues and enter new lines of business. One postal union was skeptical of the bill in its current form. "This discussion draft has a num- ber of major problems that need to be addressed before it is used as the basis of actual legislation," National Association of Letter Carriers President Fredric Rolando said in a statement. Rolando noted the continued inclu- sion of "many of the damaging and fundamental flaws" contained in the postal reform measure Issa introduced in the last session of Congress. Rolando noted in particular the delivery schedule change and the move away from to-the- door delivery. “The NALC is disappointed that Chairman Issa did not take a fresher approach to postal reform with this dis- cussion draft," Rolando stated. But the labor leader also said his organization appreciated the opportunity to provide input during a draft phase before the bill is formally introduced. Rolando said his group hoped to work with Issa and the committee to come up with "alternative approaches to postal reform" that would "seek to modern- ize and strengthen the Postal Service ... rather than to destroy it brick by brick." American Postal Workers Union President Cliff Guffey said his union also would "examine the draft more thor- oughly in the coming days" and work with lawmakers, but that his organiza- tion found initial review of the bill to be "deeply disturbing." "The draft bill would turn the USPS into a private, for-profit operation," Guffey said. "It would do virtually noth- ing to strengthen the Postal Service's ability to serve the communications needs of our nation." See more on the act at: http://oversight. house.gov/postalreformAct/. ••• In Brief DOD details integration plan The Defense Department on June 18 provided details on proposed timelines for bringing women into previously closed combat positions. DOD said Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey have reviewed the plans, which out- line the schedules for implementation. Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in January announced the decision to rescind the ban on assigning women to direct ground combat. "The successful integration of women into currently closed positions requires the department to be thoughtful and deliberate in determining the next steps," DOD said in a statement. "The depart- ment will proceed in a measured and responsible way to open positions to women." DOD said the services and Special Operations Command plan full implemen- tation by Jan. 1, 2016. To see the timelines, go to: (Army) www.defense.gov/news/ ArmyWISRImplementationPlan. pdf; (Navy) www.defense.gov/news/ NavyWISRImplementationPlan.pdf; (Air Force) www.defense.gov/news/ AirForceWISRImplementationPlan.pdf; (Marine Corps) www.defense.gov/news/ MarineCorpsWISRImplementationPlan. pdf; and (SOCOM) www.defense.gov/news/ SOCOMWISRImplementationPlan.pdf. Flag recognition benefit extended to civilian employees The Office of Personnel Management on June 14---Flag Day---published pro- posed regulations to implement the Civilian Service Recognition Act, which authorizes agency heads to present a U.S. flag to families of fallen federal employees, much as the military services furnish flags to families of fallen service members. The Act became law in December 2011. OPM said it has developed guidance outlining eligibility criteria and agency and beneficiary responsibilities for the new "flag recognition benefit," as well as for OPM's Wall of Honor, which was dedicated in April. "I encourage all agencies to make full use of this authority to honor those feder- al employees who have made the ultimate sacrifice in support of our nation," acting OPM Director Elaine Kaplan said in a memo announcing the new rules. To see more, go to: www.chcoc. gov/transmittals/TransmittalDetails. aspx?TransmittalID=5667. Attacks on park feds increase Attacks and threats on federal employees who work in national parks and wild- life refuges jumped last year, the advocacy group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) said last week. PEER said that according to agency- collected numbers, reported incidents of violence jumped more 40 percent in wild- life refuges and areas patrolled by the U.S. Park Police, and more than 12 percent in national parks. A 42.9 percent increase experienced by the Park Police is the result of 100 violent incidents in 2012, the highest number in its history, PEER said. The Forest Service recorded 419 incidents in the year, up 43.5 percent from 2011. Other agencies---including the Fish & Wildlife Service, Forest Service, National Park Service and NOAA, which oper- ates marine sanctuaries---also reported increases, although on smaller numbers of incidents. PEER said drugs and alcohol appeared to be involved a large number of continued from page 4 continued on page 9
June 17, 2013
July 1, 2013