House Passes Legislation Extending Probationary Periods

The House passed legislation increasing the probationary period for federal workers to at least two years.

Seal of the U.S. House of Representatives
Seal of the U.S. House of Representatives

Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 4182, the Ensuring a Qualified Civil Service (EQUALS) Act of 2017, introduced by Representative James Comer (R-KY), which would extend the probationary period for employees from one year to at least two years and possibly beyond. With respect to any position that requires formal training or a license, the two-year time period would begin after the required formal training is completed or license is achieved. The measure passed by a vote of 213- 204. Continue reading “House Passes Legislation Extending Probationary Periods”

Update on Government Funding

Action is needed by Friday, December 8th to provide continued government funding for the remainder of FY 2018, and to avoid a shutdown.

Agency ShutdownAs you are aware from my earlier posts, on Friday, December 8, the current Continuing Resolution (CR) funding federal agencies will expire. Congress must vote to pass a CR, an omnibus appropriations bill, or some combination thereof, with the President signing the measure into law, to keep the federal government open past the 8th. Continue reading “Update on Government Funding”

HHS Reimagine Initiative Focus Groups

HHS has provided notice to NTEU that it plans to hold focus groups regarding the HHS Reimagine Initiative. Please send your nomination no later than Friday, December 1, 2017.

Providing inputSeveral months ago, NTEU reached out to HHS to learn more about the Reimagine Initiative initiated by former Secretary Price. Last week, HHS responded that the initiative is still being developed and, currently, no changes have been proposed that would require a briefing. However, the agency provided notice that it plans to conduct focus groups to obtain employee feedback regarding the current performance management program/system. According to the notice, the Secretary authorized the “Maximizing Employee Performance” workgroup, to help review and improve HHS’ current performance management process. The agency claims that the purpose of this focus group is to solicit opinions and suggestions related to agency performance culture. The focus groups will occur telephonically and be facilitated by “various Human Resource experts” from throughout the agency. Participant responses will be anonymous and confidential. Continue reading “HHS Reimagine Initiative Focus Groups”