Government affairs

Legislative Updates

President’s Management Agenda released

Today, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the new President’s Management Agenda (PMA). Among what it describes as three broad “drivers of transformation” and cross agency priority goals are:

  • IT Modernization
  • Data, accountability, and transparency
  • Workforce for the 21st century

Of particular note to letter carriers and federal employees is the last bullet, which seeks to modify the federal workforce and civil service personnel system, including a redesign of the current pay, pension, and bonus structures. While the report does not suggest any new changes to federal pay and benefits beyond what was already outlined in the White House fiscal year 2019 budget request (click here to read NALC’s report), it directly states that it intends to overhaul the “statutory and regulatory rules that have, over time, created an incomprehensible and unmanageable civil service system.”

“We’re going to demonstrate some new ways in looking at the workforce, not only in recruitment or performance management, or even separation management … but the DNA of how we actually reward people, how our culture works,” said OPM Director Jeff Pon. “The whole philosophy of having a job for life is a thing of the past.”

According to the PMA, “aligning and managing the federal workforce of the 21st century means:

  • Instating performance management processes that help agencies retain top employees and efficiently remove those who fail to perform or to uphold the public’s trust;
  • Reducing skills-gaps and eliminating redundant positions;
  • Simplifying the hiring process for managers;
  • Enhancing personnel management IT, including creation of a paperless employee personnel file and digitalizing health benefits and retirement systems administration;
  • Spreading effective practices among human resources specialists;
  • Improving manager satisfaction with the quality of the human resources service provided; and
  • Rebalancing relationships with Federal employee unions to ensure citizens’ interests are kept front and center.

These goals as quoted should concern letter carriers and federal employees as they place civil service protections at risk under the guise of “accountability” and “trust.” Our current civil service protections exist to provide a safeguard against corruption, mismanagement, and political favoritism yet are undermined continuously through both legislation and executive agendas including the PMA.

A “rebalancing” of federal employee unions and government management relationships is also concerning as we have seen more than a few efforts over the past year to dismantle workers’ rights and labor-friendly rulings advanced under the previous administration.

NALC will continue to monitor such efforts and will actively resist any attempts made by this Administration or Congress to target letter carriers, federal employees, or retirees.

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