Update on SEA’s Legislative and Policy Activities
With the government shutdown now in the rearview mirror – at least until the end of September – Congress is ramping into full gear. SEA is staying busy ensuring your voice is heard and felt on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. The following is a roundup of the issues we’re focusing on and working to advance.
- Restoring a quorum and Senate-confirmed leadership to the Board is among our top priorities. Without a Board our members have lost the primary forum for enforcing their employment rights. SEA rallied federal management associations, whistleblower advocates, good government groups, and civil society groups to craft and support various proposals to address the crisis, but were undermined by AFGE and Senate inaction. Our work on this issue will not end.
- Working to secure a bipartisan MSPB reauthorization.
- Advancing our SES joint policy agenda, in collaboration with the Partnership for Public Service and the Volcker Alliance.
- Advancing the conversation on the need for comprehensive civil service reform, while recognizing large, long term changes will be difficult to enact in a divided Congress. Nonetheless, based on House and Senate meetings in recent weeks, there is hope for gaining traction on several of our focus areas, including:
- Modernizing and streamlining federal hiring laws
- Advancing paid paternal leave proposals for government
- Establishing dual promotion tracks in the GS for technical employees and leaders/management
- Authorizing and funding more robust employee training and leader development in agencies, ensuring the success of reskilling efforts to help government employees keep up with changes in the future of work
- Restoring viable internship and apprenticeship programs in government
- Reforming the security clearance and suitability determination processes
- Eliminating unnecessary rules, regulations, and red-tape that make leading in government more difficult without adding value
- Fixing a provision in the tax reform law that hits relocating federal employees and new hires who travel to a new duty station with significant taxes
- Repealing the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO)
- Fighting attempts by the Administration to reduce federal employee pay and benefits, including for retired federal employees. We expect similar proposals from recent years to be included in the President’s budget and will join federal employee organizations to defeat these proposals again.
SEA cannot do this work alone. As constituents, you have a constitutional right to engage your elected representatives. Please let us know if you would like help setting up a meeting or to have SEA’s talking points on a specific issue. I also encourage members to sign up for the SEA Policy Task Force by emailing me at Jason.Briefel@seniorexecs.org to express interest.
What the SEA Policy Task Force does:
Works with the SEA Board Policy Committee, SEA President, and SEA Executive Director to determine the issue areas (legislative and administrative) that SEA should focus on. Topics that may be considered by the task force include but are not limited to: talent management, SEA reform, civil service modernization, human capital policies, hiring reform, ECQs and assessments, organizational and individual performance management, etc.
The task force will provide insight and input on policy proposals that SEA is building, and provide feedback on policy proposals SEA is reviewing. Participants will be invited to engage in meetings with policymakers at their discretion. This task force will convene primarily via phone and email, with infrequent in-person meetings. The members of this task force serve as advisors and subject matter experts, providing personal input, but not representing an agency or job position.