Monthly Archives: August, 2009

'Frustrated' unions say failure to kill NSPS 'illogical,' 'baffling'

0

The American Federation of Government Employees wasted no time in firing back at the Defense Business Board task group’s final report on the National Security Personnel System, and its recommendation to rebuild — but not abolish — the controversial system. In a letter sent to the task group less than an hour after the report was posted online, AFGE President John Gage said the decision to drastically reform NSPS left the union “perplexed, angered and frustrated:” The recommendation to keep NSPS is illogical and does not flow from your findings. The task group has miscalculated the intensity of hatred toward…

USPS to offer early retirement incentives

0

Update: 4:27 p.m.: We’ve got a story posted about this over on the mothership. And APWU has details on who, exactly, qualifies for retirement/early retirement under this buyout program. If you don’t quality for either, again, you can still take the $15,000 incentive and resign from the Postal Service Update, 2:43 p.m.: Just to clarify, the offer will be extended to a) employees already eligible for retirement, b) employees who were eligible for previous early retirement programs and declined them, and c) any employee represented by APWU or NPMHU who wants to take the $15,000 and leave the Postal Service,…

Are you ready?

1

National Preparedness Month starts next week. This year, in addition to stressing the necessary preparations for natural disasters such as hurricanes and wildfires, the focus will be on a new challenge: pandemic flu. The H1N1 virus (the illness formerly known as swine flu) is expected to come back strong in the fall and agencies have to be prepared to continue operating in the event federal employees become infected, said Josh Sawislak, acting chief of the General Services Administration’s Office of Emergency Response and Recovery. For GSA, pandemic preparation is more than making sure federal agencies have enough hand sanitizer to…

Overpaid feds?

0

Cato’s Chris Edwards thinks federal employees are overpaid (h/t Alyssa Rosenberg at GovExec’s blog): In 2008, the average wage for 1.9 million federal civilian workers was $79,197, which compared to an average $49,935 for the nation’s 108 million private sector workers (measured in full-time equivalents). The figure shows that the federal pay advantage (the gap between the lines) is steadily increasing. This is a pretty useless comparison. 66 percent of federal employees are in higher-paid “management, business, and financial” or “professional” jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Only about 36 percent of private sector employees are in those…

CIA Director Panetta on his way out?

0

ABC News today reported that strife is growing between CIA Director Leon Panetta, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, and the White House, and said Panetta might not be at Langley for much longer. The CIA and Obama administration are officially denying any shakeup, but ABC says Panetta let loose a profanity-laced tirade at the White House last month over the Justice Department’s possible investigation into CIA torture of terrorism suspects and threatened to quit. And that’s not all: In addition to concerns about the CIA’s reputation and its legal exposure, other White House insiders say Panetta has been frustrated by…

The broken appointment process

1

Update: Included a clarification below. The story about Sen. Bond’s hold on Martha Johnson’s nomination has changed; he’s now reportedly delaying the nomination because he wants the government to approve a $175 million federal office building in Kansas City, according to the Kansas City Star. Original post: The New York Times has a story this morning about the political appointment process, pointing out that just 43 percent of the Obama administration’s senior political positions have been filled: While career employees or holdovers fill many posts on a temporary basis, Mr. Obama does not have his own people enacting programs central…

USPS woes cross the pond

0

Even the BBC is writing about the Postal Service’s financial problems — today, with a story about how the Postal Service is removing its iconic blue mailboxes from street corners. In villages, towns and cities across America, residents are waking up to find the familiar blue mailbox at the end of the road is gone. In the past 20 years, more than half of America’s mailboxes have been taken out of service, leaving just 175,000 nationwide. (I should note that Tim Kauffman did a story about this back in November, though I can’t find a link to it right now.)…

White House doesn't back down from postal dig

0

8/21 UPDATE: U.S. Postal Service spokesman Gerry McKiernan just dropped me a line disputing Peter Roff’s take on the post office’s tax exemption. First, the Postal Service doesn’t own any planes on which it could pay taxes. Secondly, the Postal Service for many years was not allowed to run profits as a corporation does, meaning it had no income on which it would pay taxes, even without the exemption. (A 2006 reform allowed the Postal Service to turn a profit on competitive products like Priority Mail and package services, but in lieu of taxes, the post office uses some of that…

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming

0

Our apologies if you were unable to read FedLine last night. We had an unexpected deluge of traffic after the Drudge Report linked to our blog about the National Association of Postal Supervisors taking offense at Obama’s dig against the U.S. Postal Service, which pretty much crashed our site. The crack Web staff at Army Times Publishing Co. and Gannett were on the case, however, and got us back up and running that evening. And to all of our new readers who found us via Drudge, welcome! We hope you stick around and explore FedLine, as well as our award-winning newspaper,…

Obama pledges to listen to VA employees

0

The Veterans Affairs Department will soon start a new program to take advantage of VA employees’ expertise nationwide, President Barack Obama said Monday. Obama announced the program at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Phoenix, Ariz., where he spoke of the agency’s need to better serve veterans. He said asking employees for their ideas can help solve many of the VA’s critical problems, including the backlog of more than half a million veterans’ claims. Obama said he’d told VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra, Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra and Chief Performance Officer Jeffrey Zients to…