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    Employees Face Big Hike in Health-Care Costs

    Federal government employees can expect a big jump in their health-care costs in 2010, officials said Tuesday. Employees enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program will pay an average 8.8 percent more in health-care costs, according to figures released by the Office of Personnel Management. The increase averages $5.98 per paycheck for individual health-care coverage, and a $12.87 increase for ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rate This
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    Feds submit more than 10,000 ideas to OMB in effort to SAVE money

    Feds submit more than 10,000 ideas to OMB in effort to SAVE money
    Federal employees have submitted more than 10,000 ideas to improve government, and feds still are two more weeks to enter. The Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orszag wrote in his blog today that his office has received 10,266 entries under the Securing Americans Value and Efficiency (SAVE) Award. OMB announced the competition Sept. 23, and it runs through Oct. ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rate This
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    Letterman and the Diversity Issue at Homeland Security

    Is David Letterman to blame for the lack of diversity at the Department of Homeland Security? The talk show host's recent admission of trysts with women who worked for him, a Republican lawmaker said Wednesday, has provoked not outrage among his fans and the media, but rather a sense of reluctant acceptance. And Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) suggested that such a ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rate This
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    For Labor and Management, Bargaining Rights Loom Large

    President Obama wants to issue an executive order creating panels that would foster greater collaboration between management and labor in federal agencies, but it's hard to craft a document that pleases both sides. Union leaders, who had felt good about an early draft, aren't so happy with a revised proposal from the White House this month. But groups representing managers are ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rate This
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    Lack of Equity Slows Federal Aid Housing Program

    Lack of Equity Slows Federal Aid Housing Program
    A federal program to allow borrowers with little or no equity in their homes to refinance is struggling to gain traction, according to government data released Tuesday, showing that only 93,070 borrowers have been helped since the effort was launched in April. The program has encountered difficulties that government regulators had not expected, such as the limited capacity of lenders to ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rate This
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    Performance Pay Funding for Teachers May Increase

    Performance Pay Funding for Teachers May Increase
    Federal funding for performance pay in public schools would quadruple, to $400 million a year, under a bill moving through Congress that reflects the growing political momentum behind an education reform idea once considered anathema to many Democrats and labor leaders. The Teacher Incentive Fund, launched during the Bush administration, has become a priority for President Obama. It has awarded more ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rated: +1
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    FDA Seeks Better Nutrition Labeling

    The federal government is wading into the supermarket aisle, making its first effort to provide better nutritional information on food products since it developed the black-and-white Nutrition Facts label 15 years ago. Margaret A. Hamburg, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said Tuesday that shoppers are bombarded by slogans ("Heart Healthy," "Good for You," "A Better Choice") on products ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rate This
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    The Times Are a-Changin' for Postal Service

    The Times Are a-Changin' for Postal Service
    The U.S. Postal Service lost billions of dollars in revenue during the last fiscal year as the volume of mail plunged. Lawmakers may one day soon consider cutting mail delivery to five days a week. They also may need to sort out how the Postal Service pays for the benefits of current and future retirees. But most customers only care about ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rate This
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    Workers to Have Say on Higher Health Premiums

    Current and former federal employees angered by premium increases in the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program will get their day before Congress on Wednesday, when senators hope to get answers about why the impending price jump is warranted and what the government did to inform participants. Most federal and postal employees are eligible for the program, which is run by ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rate This
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    OPM's Berry on Changes in the Hiring Process

    OPM's Berry on Changes in the Hiring Process
    It's been six months since John Berry took over the Office of Personnel Management. With his appointment, and increased attention provided by President Obama's White House, federal personnel issues have gained a much greater profile. More attention, however, doesn't mean Uncle Sam's broken hiring system is fixed, or the confusing employee pay and evaluation structure is suddenly sane, or the federal ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rate This
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    NASA Scientist Accused of Espionage to Remain in Jail

    A federal judge ordered that a Chevy Chase scientist remain jailed on a charge that he tried to pass national secrets to the Israeli government in exchange for $11,000. Stewart D. Nozette, 52, was arrested Monday afternoon on a charge of attempted espionage after authorities accused him of passing classified information to an undercover FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rate This
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    'Cool' Jobs and Same-Sex Benefits

    Remember when President Obama said he wanted to make working for the federal government "cool again"? The government's chief human resources officer told lawmakers Thursday that they need to approve a bill that extends full benefits to the domestic partners of gay and lesbian federal employees to ensure that the government remains competitive with the private sector. "Young people are looking ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rate This
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    Patent Office Weighs Ways To Cut Growing Backlog

    Patent Office Weighs Ways To Cut Growing Backlog
    In a move designed to improve employee morale and to help reduce a growing backlog, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office proposed changes Wednesday to its way of determining how long a patent examiner has to complete a patent examination and the incentives that examiners earn. The modifications, which must be approved by agency employees in the coming weeks, would be ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rate This
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    Government Watchdogs are Given Their Due

    Government Watchdogs are Given Their Due
    There was no red carpet or pregame show. No musical acts or (good) jokes. No celebrity appearances, and perhaps best of all, the ceremony didn't drag on for hours (just 58 minutes). But the awards distributed Tuesday at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium honored achievements much more noble than "best supporting actor" or "best on-screen kiss." They heralded the federal watchdogs who ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rate This
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    Union Leaders Step Up Fight Against Excise Tax

    Federal employee union leaders threw the second of a one-two punch at a Senate plan to tax health insurance premiums on Tuesday, saying it would mean significant benefit cuts and higher health costs for workers. The presidents of the American Federation of Government Employees, the American Postal Workers Union and the National Association of Letter Carriers joined with the Communications Workers ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rate This
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    GW Roommates Recognized and Reunited in Their Calls to Service

    Not long after Kristen Taddonio and Clare Rowley moved into their George Washington University dorm in 2001, the freshman roommates bonded while watching the terrible events of Sept. 11, 2001, on a Lafayette Hall television. They went their separate ways after graduation and lost track of each other, but both ended up pursuing careers with the federal government. Eight years later, ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rate This
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    Discrimination Complaints Up Slightly

    Complaints from the federal workforce alleging discrimination by the government increased slightly in the latest figures from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, ending a recent downward trend. The EEOC's Annual Report on the Federal Workforce notes 16,752 complaints alleging employment discrimination filed against the federal government in Fiscal Year 2008 -- up 2.4 percent from the prior year. The complaints ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rate This
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    Government Lags in Hiring of Latinos

    Government Lags in Hiring of Latinos
    Latino Americans may be the nation's fastest-growing minority group, but they're also the most underrepresented among civilian federal employees. As of last September, Hispanics accounted for about 8 percent of the total civilian federal workforce, according to the Office of Personnel Management. That's well below the 13.2 percent of Hispanics in the national civilian labor force, according to Labor Department statistics. ...
    Published almost 5 years ago | Rate This
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    Time For a Plain-Language Revolution

    Sometimes Uncle Sam sounds like he has marbles in his mouth. Read, if you can, the accompanying excerpt from an Education Department regulation, which was printed in Wednesday's Federal Register. This one sentence has more than 220 words, nearly the equivalent of a typed page, double-spaced. It's typical of impenetrable fedspeak that produces more indigestion than information. But help is on ...
    Published over 4 years ago | Rate This
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