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70,000 emergency responses to natural disasters. A free mammography program for women in need. 4,000 children adopted. 500 internships for Hispanic students. 2.8 million AIDS/HIV patients helped.
Those are just some of the ways that more than 24,000 nonprofit charities will use the millions of dollars raised by the Combined Federal Campaign. I want to thank the dedicated Federal employees who year in and year out contribute to this program worldwide. And I also want to thank the volunteers who make the CFC campaign a success each year.
Earlier this week, OPM submitted a final rule to the Federal Register that we believe will build on the more than 50-year success of the CFC and revitalize the program to make it even better, both for the charities who participate and for our Federal employees.
These regulations will mean that more of a Federal worker’s contribution to the CFC will go directly to the charities they want to help. They will mean that the operation of the CFC will be more transparent, more cost-effective and more convenient. They will mean that the CFC will take advantage of the latest cost-saving technology in a transition to online giving.
These new regulations were developed in consultation with Federal employees, charitable organizations, watchdog groups and campaign administrators. The final rule is a result of not only the collaboration with the charities that benefit from our Federal employees’ donations, but also with the public. We received more than 1,000 comments during the review process.
We understand that some groups have expressed apprehension over these changes. We take these concerns seriously and remain fully committed to working closely with charities and key stakeholders as we implement the final rule. Under the new rule, federal employees are able to maximize their contributions and know that the greatest amount of their donations goes directly to the charities that they choose.
Year after year, Federal employees have been incredibly generous in giving to the CFC. In its more than 50-year history, more than $7 billion have been raised for thousands of charities.
These changes will expand the opportunities for giving, both for new employees who will be able to enroll soon after joining the Federal government and through a new Disaster Relief Program, designed to make sure that those in need get help when they need it most.
Every day, the CFC continues to fulfill the dream of its founder: President John F. Kennedy. I believe that the improvements we are announcing today will strengthen and invigorate this vital program for the next half century.
To view OPM’s Fact Sheet on the final rule’s key changes, please visit: www.opm.gov/cfc.
Select this link to view OPM's News Release.
This week, as part of his agenda for expanding opportunity for all Americans and building an economy that works for everyone, President Obama took action to strengthen the enforcement of equal pay laws for employees of Federal contractors. The President also again called on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would extend these same protections to all workers.
One of the executive actions the President signed on Tuesday provides a critical tool to encourage pay transparency, so workers will have better data to combat any potential pay discrimination or disparities of which they otherwise may have been unaware.
Today, as part of our larger focus on ensuring transparency within the Federal government, the Office of Personnel Management is releasing a study the President ordered to examine the federal government’s progress to guarantee that all workers can earn a fair and equal wage.
Our report, a Government-wide Strategy on Advancing Pay Equality, looks at the pay of Federal employees over the past 20 years and finds that while we have made important progress toward closing the gender wage gap, we still have work to do.
According to our comprehensive, in-depth review of 37 white-collar Federal job categories, in 2012, women were paid 87 cents for every dollar that a man was paid. In 1992, women in the Federal workforce made just 70 cents on the dollar.
This is a significant improvement over the past 20 years. In fact, when we looked at individual occupations and pay grades, we found that men and women in many occupations make comparable pay.
We also found that there was greater pay equity in occupations and grade levels across Federal white-collar employment.
But while our report shows the progress that we’ve made, we won’t be satisfied until women working in federal jobs earn the same as their male counterparts, at every level. That’s why our report also lays out a roadmap for how we can continue to address this pay disparity. For starters, we need to address the imbalance of hiring in all occupations. We need to build stronger pipelines for women across the board. We also must improve the transparency of our pay tables, particularly when it comes to starting salaries for women, which tend to lag behind men’s.
We also still have work to do when it comes to managers and executives. It is encouraging that our report found that the salary gap for supervisors and managers was less than five cents on the dollar, and for women in the Senior Executive Service (SES), the highest level of Federal leadership, the gap is less than one penny on the dollar.
But women also hold only just one third of these positions – and that’s a number that needs to grow. That’s why we have made it a top priority to mentor women who hold GS14 and GS15 positions to advance into SES jobs. We are doing this nationwide, by connecting SES women working with local Federal Executive Boards to hold coffee chats and other mentoring programs. We’re working with women’s Employee Resource Groups to develop strong training and information programs about how best to get to the SES.
We have a clear guiding principle in Federal law: Federal employees must be paid equal pay for equal work. And that’s a standard that we are committed to reaching across the federal government.
As the Director of the Office of Personnel Management I will continue to strive to make the Federal government a model for ensuring that all people, no matter their gender, are paid equally and fairly for the work they do.
Today is it. This is the last day for Americans to enroll in an Affordable Care Act Marketplace. And I want to make a special appeal to the Latino community to keep working until the last minute to get the word out.
In the past month I’ve traveled to Philadelphia, San Antonio, Houston, Miami and Phoenix. I’ve concentrated on the Latino community because we lack health insurance in greater numbers than others. I am determined to get us covered – NOW.
We heard last week that more than 6 million Americans have signed up and that the virtual lines are long in the Marketplaces. That’s great. But we can’t let up.
In order to be assured of health coverage for the coming year enrollees have to have started the sign up process by midnight. Just like on an Election Day, as long as people are in line before midnight they’ll be given time to complete the enrollment process.
The resources are there for Latinos. In addition to healthcare.gov there is cuidadodesalud.gov. The call center – 1-800-318-2596 - has Spanish speaking operators waiting to help.
This is it. Spread the word anyway you can.
Let’s get everyone covered NOW!
It’s officially spring and the weather is slowly edging away from what’s been an unusually harsh winter season. We’ve had one major storm after another and lots of little ones in between. We’ve all made good use of our shovels, ice scrapers, coats, hats and gloves.
At Dulles Airport, one of the major measuring centers, the National Weather Service measured 52.8 inches of snow for this winter, 30 inches more than the seasonal average. This is likely a winter we’ll be telling stories about for many years to come.
Wherever I go, people always ask me about our Dismissal and Closure status. Our social media channels start getting busy with questions and comments days before a storm is ready to hit!
What many people don’t realize is that we prepare all year round for these kinds of events. Whether it’s an unexpectedly heavy winter weather season, an earthquake in August, or a Superstorm in October, we do all we can to make sure we are prepared for anything. Decisions may be hard and not always popular, but because we prepare, we barely miss a beat.
We consult throughout the year with our partners in this effort – the Council of Governments, the National Weather Service and transportation departments throughout the National Capital Area.
OPM’s guidance covers any natural disaster or event that disrupts commuting in the DC area. This includes not only snow and ice, but earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes or other special events that may occur during the year. Whenever these emergencies occur, OPM is committed to promoting the continuity of operations and ensuring the safety of its workforce.
One of the strongest tools we have is telework. During emergencies, teleworking is often the best option for continuity of operations. That’s why so much of our Dismissal and Closure guide helps agencies and employees understand their options and flexibilities.
We want to make sure that as much as possible, the weather doesn’t keep the Federal workforce from providing excellent service to the American people.
The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 helps us do that. The Act requires agencies to incorporate telework into their continuity of operation plans. OPM used the Act as an opportunity to highlight telework in our emergency announcements. We have been working with agencies to increase the use of telework, both regularly and during emergencies.
That effort is paying off. Federal employees are teleworking at an all-time high across the country. In the DC area, according to the Employee Viewpoint Survey, 70 percent of employees are telework eligible. Telework is the best option to keep the Federal Government working during the emergencies that prevent normal government operations.
Moreover, new technologies allow Federal employees to work from home, and I know most of you find ways to make up your work at no cost to the Federal government. As such, there is no good way for us to calculate with any accuracy the cost of closing Federal government building.
Each year, OPM reviews its guidance and discusses lessons learned with its interagency working group and labor unions. These discussions ensure that OPM’s announcements reflect the current needs of the Federal workforce. Over the past several years, we’ve worked unscheduled leave and telework into nearly all of our status options so that you have the flexibility to make the right decision for you and your family.
We follow up our consultations and engagement with the interagency and union stakeholders with videos, guidance, and other materials to help inform Federal employees. Througout the year, we also encourage Federal workers to have preparedness conversations with their supervisors and agency leaders. And when in doubt, FEMA’s www.ready.gov is the one stop shop for general preparedness tips and information.
Now that we’ve (hopefully) seen our last snow of the season, let’s keep the conversation going. Talk to your employees, to your supervisor, and to your families about the plans that work for you. Let’s all think about this winter and learn from it. I know that together we’ll be ready for the next emergency that comes our way. After all, hurricane season is right around the corner.
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