Actions Versus Words: Tale of an OPM Memo

Earlier this month, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced it was “highlighting” National Work and Family Month, “something OPM is adamant in supporting.”

In a memo issued Oct. 8, OPM identified “work-life supports as one of the major drivers of employee engagement.”

But, management at some NTEU-represented agencies must have missed the memo.

At the Department of Health and Human Services and Social Security Administration, management has worked to eviscerate telework rights that have allowed employees to achieve better work-life balance for years.

Over the years, NTEU has worked successfully on Capitol Hill to support the passage of two bills promoting telework opportunities in the federal government. We fought to incorporate telework into our contracts because it’s good for employees, agencies and taxpayers. And right now on Capitol Hill, NTEU is strongly supporting another family-friendly policy—a paid family leave program.

The Federal Employee Paid Leave Act provides federal workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave for the arrival of a new child or to take care of a critically ill family member or a serious personal medical condition. The House added it to the 2020 defense authorization bill, which is in final negotiations with the Senate, where NTEU has worked to build bipartisan support for the program. Learn more.

The bottom line is that actions speak louder than words, and agency actions make OPM’s words nothing more than a hollow attempt at pandering.