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Federal Employees News Digest : Oct 7, 2013
Phil Piemonte, Managing Editor E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org What's Inside44 OCTOBER 7, 2013 • VOL. 63, NO. 12 Fire drill Headline in the Washington Post. Page 1. It was in huge, bold-faced type. It read: FIRE ME. To give a headline that much play and placement (above the fold) meant the editors thought it was the best they had to offer that day. The story beneath the headline was about several fed-up federal workers who, over the years, had tried in vain to get fired. They literally begged Congress to fire them. Sometimes to abolish their entire agency. And fire all the people who worked for it. They wanted the House, Senate and White House to stop funding programs which, they said, were a waste of time. Or silly. Or whatever. One of the quotes in the story from an FAA employee in 1993 was: "I feel like that person in the old movie who writes in lipstick on bathroom mirrors 'Stop me before I kill again.'" "However, in my case," the worker told Congress, "it should be 'stop me before I steal some more.'" Then the piece went on to list a series of appeals to Congress from feds who said the job they were doing, in some cases the work their entire agency was doing, wasn't necessary. And that they should be fired. The FIRE ME story was the ultimate man-bites-dog story in the ultimate gov- ernment town. Wow! Do I wish I had thought of it, researched it and written it? Do I wish I had found that story first? You bet. INSIGHT BY MIKE CAUSEY continued on page 2 For more news...see Federal Daily at www.FederalDaily.com • OPM posts new FEHBP rates 3 • USPS injuries steady 3 • In Brief 4 • Informed Investor 7 • Federal Benefits Q&A 8 continued on page 3 Congress fails, shutdown begins Congress last week failed in a last- ditch effort to pass legislation that would continue funding the federal govern- ment, sending agencies into a massive shutdown that federal employees and the public alike had hoped to avoid. In the first hours of the shutdown---on Tuesday, Oct. 1---approximately 800,000 "non-excepted" federal employees were told that they were not to report to work until further notice. The shutdown, the first to occur since 1996, promises to be more than a bump in the road, with the Republican major- ity in the House refusing to agree to a government-wide continuing resolution without also defunding or restricting the 2010 Affordable Care Act. At the same time, the Democratic-controlled Senate and White House remain equally com- mitted to funding the ACA and imple- menting it on schedule. "Here's the problem---and the way it looks to us: Nothing is really going on in terms of real negotiations between both sides of the Hill," Matthew Biggs, legislative director of the International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers, told FEND. IFPTE, which represents some 25,000 federal employees at the Defense Department, Navy shipyards, and NASA---the last of which had seen almost all of its employees furloughed as of Oct. 1---like most other federal employee organizations laid most of the blame on the House. "Eight hundred thousand federal civilian employees have been locked out of their jobs because the House of Representatives has put partisan politics ahead of the health of our nation," IFPTE said in a statement. "While we are unsure of how long this unnecessary drama will last, what we do know is that federal workers are an essential element of this country, and are deserving of a Congress that does its job and keeps America open for business." Congress paid, feds are not "Members of Congress are continuing to get paid during the shutdown, but our members are stuck sitting at the dinner table explaining to their children and spouses that they don't have a job any- more," National Federation of Federal Employees President William R. Dougan told FEND. "That home we've been sav- ing for -- we're not going to be able to buy it like we hoped. That college you just got into -- we just can't afford to send you there like we thought." "The majority of our members have been furloughed," Dougan explained. "Yesterday, these dedicated workers had jobs and a paycheck. Today, they are home wondering how they are going to pay the mortgage and put food on the table." The National Treasury Employees Union also fired back at Congress for
Sep 30, 2013
Oct 14, 2013