New COVID-Relief Plan Provides for Additional Leave
President-elect Joe Biden last week announced his coronavirus relief legislative package, the American Rescue Plan, which includes several provisions to assist federal employees.
Under his proposal, federal employees would receive additional paid sick and family and medical leave to: assist parents with caregiving responsibilities when a school or care center is closed; care for themselves or a dependent with COVID-19 symptoms; quarantine due to exposure; and to get the vaccine.
This includes 12 weeks of paid COVID-related leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, capped at $1,400 per week, which would be available to federal employees for the first time, and an extension of the 80 hours of COVID-related emergency paid sick leave that expired in December.
Under Biden's plan, the paid leave programs would be available until Sept. 30.
NTEU will provide additional updates on this proposal and continue to push Congress to include these and other provisions to support and protect federal employees in upcoming COVID-relief legislation.
NTEU Endorses Legislation to Block Schedule F
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) last week reintroduced two NTEU-endorsed bills to stop the implementation of President Trump’s Schedule F executive order (EO).
The Saving the Civil Service Act would rescind the order removing civil service protections from an entire class of employees and prevent the use of government funding to implement this or any future order. The bill would also return positions and employees moved to Schedule F back to their previous designation.
The Preventing a Patronage System Act prohibits agencies from reclassifying any civil service position into an excepted service schedule created after Sept. 30, 2020. Employees could only reclassify civil service positions into the five excepted service schedules (schedules A through E) in use before this fiscal year. Read more
NTEU Echoes Call for Better IRS Funding, More Staffing
In her annual report to Congress, the Taxpayer Advocate delivered a clear message: a decade of budget cuts and staffing reductions have damaged the IRS and its ability to serve taxpayers and collect revenue.
The IRS Advisory Council in November noted that inadequate funding of the IRS poses a fundamental risk to tax administration. Last week, the IRS told Congress it needs a substantial infusion of money to implement the Taxpayer First Act, which focuses on improving service through modernizing technology and advanced employee training.
NTEU has been sounding the same alarm and is urging Congress to restore the agency’s depleted operating budget and invest more in staffing, training and technology. Read more
NTEU Members Volunteer for Inauguration Security
National President Tony Reardon and National Executive Vice President Jim Bailey met with several NTEU members today who are on voluntary deployment to help with security for the inauguration. NTEU thanks our members who are working this week to keep everyone safe.
Top photo, from left: Efthimios Koutroubas (Chapter 161, CBP Newark), Robert Cacioli (Chapter 161, CBP Newark), Reardon, Bailey and German Ayala (Chapter 161, CBP Newark)
Bottom photo, from left: Patrick Mangan (Chapter 154, CBP Buffalo), Bailey, Reardon, Jason Bommelje (Chapter 154, CBP Buffalo) and Art Fisher (Chapter 154, CBP Buffalo)