The Month in Media
"NTEU strongly supports Congressman Lynch's FEHBP reform bill that would result in lower prescription drug costs-- it's a win-win for taxpayers and federal employees and retirees."
New bill aims to cut prescription drug costs for feds
Federal Times | May 18, 2015
NTEU sounded off against proposed cuts to workers' comp benefits. The media also reported on the union's support for legislation that would enact better controls over drug spending and reduce health insurance costs for federal employees and retirees.
• NTEU rejects proposals to slash workers' compensation benefits for federal employees who get hurt on the job. Read the clips »
• NTEU backs legislation that would lower the costs of prescription drugs and cut FEHBP premiums for federal workers and retirees. Read the clips »
• A letter to the editor from an NTEU chapter president argues for more IRS funding as a means to yield more revenue for the country. Read the clips »
• NTEU voices support for paid parental leave and the elimination of a TSP tax penalty impacting law enforcement officers. Read the other stories »
Will this be the year Congress overhauls workers' comp? (Federal News Radio)
"We have received reports from our members about management resistance or lack of interest in light duty assignments, alternative worksites, disability accommodations and other actions that could allow FECA recipients to return to work. A change in management practices and culture is needed," wrote Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents customs agents, among others. "I don't expect this is something Congress can fully legislate, but the first step is to end the myth that able-bodied workers are receiving FECA payments and accept the fact that many injured workers would like to return to work and could do so with opened minded and innovative agency practices."
May 20, 2015
NTEU opposes cutting workers'comp benefits (Federal News Radio)
In this audio clip, Federal News Radio's Tom Temin and Emily Kopp discuss Kopp's workers'comp story, stemming from the May 20 House subcommittee hearing on FECA. Temin and Kopp discuss President Kelley's views on the matter (though Tom mistakenly says that Colleen testified at the hearing).
May 21, 2015
|FEHBP Drug Pricing Reform
New bill aims to improve oversight of FEHBP prescription drug benefits (Federal News Radio)
How One Lawmaker Wants to Make Feds'Prescription Drugs Cheaper (GovExec)
Stronger oversight of negotiators for federal employees and retirees'prescription drug benefits would end feds'overpayment for their medicine, according to a Democratic lawmaker.
The National Treasury Employees Union praised the measure, noting FEHBP enrollees currently pay 15 percent to 45 percent more than Medicare participants, or those in systems run by the departments of Veterans Affairs or Defense.
"Lynch's bill is a step in the right direction to enacting better controls over drug spending in FEHBP, and to reducing costs for federal employees and retirees," NTEU National President Colleen Kelley said.
May 4, 2015
House bill would lower healthcare costs for feds under FEHBP (Fierce Government)
The federal government's largest employee union came out in support of a bill that purports to lower the cost of prescription drugs and healthcare premiums for federal workers and retirees, says a May 4 emailed statement by the National Treasury Employees Union.
"While the purpose of contracting with PBMs was to control drug costs, there is little evidence this approach has been effective," said NTEU National President Colleen Kelley in the statement.
NTEU claims the program's prescription costs are 15 percent to 45 percent higher than those for Medicare and federal healthcare systems run by the Veterans Affairs Department and the Pentagon, because FEHBP cannot buy drugs off the Federal Supply Schedule.
May 4, 2015
NTEU supports Rep. Lynch's bill (Federal News Radio)
NTEU is mentioned toward the end of this short audio clip of a discussion between Federal News Radio on-air staff.
May 18, 2015
A new bill introduced by Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) would improve federal oversight of the prescription drug benefits that federal employees, retirees and their families receive through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP).
NTEU National President Colleen Kelley echoed Cox's sentiments, saying "It's time to make FEHBP the model for prescription drug purchasing and disclosure."
May 18, 2015
New bill aims to cut prescription drug costs for feds (Federal Times)
Federal employees could see cheaper prices for prescription drug coverage within the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan, under legislation introduced recently.
Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said the legislation will help make the FEHBP a leader in prescription drug purchasing and disclosure.
"NTEU strongly supports Congressman Lynch's FEHBP reform bill that would result in lower prescription drug costs â€“ it's a win-win for taxpayers and federal employees and retirees," Kelley said.
May 18, 2015
Letter to the Editor: Fund the IRS, yield more revenue for the U.S. (Peoria (Ill.) Journal-Star)
Illinois has lost 618 IRS jobs--a decline of nearly 27 percent. That represents not just a loss of 618 middle-class jobs but a thinning of the ranks of professionals who are trained to make sure that taxpayers understand the tax rules that apply to them and that everyone pays their fair share.
As president of the local chapter of the National Treasury Employees Union, I can tell you from firsthand experience that IRS employees in southern Illinois are frustrated by this. Taxpayers should have confidence that everyone pays their fair share. The deep cuts to the IRS budget are undermining that confidence, and that is something Congress must correct.
By Bob Graf
President, Chapter 43, Pekin, Ill.
May 1, 2015
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Weak story about IRS tax violators gets new life with watchdog report (Washington Post)
Few stories with so little meat have more life than the one about tax-delinquent tax employees.
Internal Revenue Service staffers have a near-perfect record on paying their federal taxes.
Also, it's worth noting that the number of closed "willful" employee noncompliance cases dropped from 214 in fiscal 2004 to 58 in fiscal 2013, according to the IRS. To the IRS, "willful tax noncompliance" includes those who are willing to pay but might not have the money when it's due. Often, according to Colleen M. Kelley, president of the
National Treasury Employees Union, late returns "are accurate and no taxes are even owed."
May 7, 2015
House drops TSP tax penalty for retired federal officers (Federal Times)
Federal law enforcement officers and firefighters will be able to access retirement funds earlier without penalty, under legislation passed by the House May 12.
Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said the amendment to the tax code is a "welcome development" for front-line federal workers who risk their lives every day.
"Without this expansion of the 'separation of service' exception to this group of employees, they would continue to suffer a 10-percent additional tax for accessing their money before turning 59 and a half years old," Kelley said.
May 13, 2015
U.S. one of only two nations without guaranteed paid maternity leave (Deseret (Salt Lake City, Utah) News)
In January, legislation was introduced in Congress that would give federal workers six weeks of paid leave related to the birth or adoption of a child, the Washington Post reported.
"This bill will go a long way toward creating a more family friendly workplace, which is needed by America's workers. In addition to reducing turnover, paid parental leave can lead to increased productivity, better morale and reduced absenteeism," said National Treasury Employees Union president Colleen Kelley, in a statement.
May 13, 2015
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