NFFE Secures Bipartisan Senate Letter to Trump Administration to Use Existing Authorities to Help Feds
NFFE, working with its federal labor partners, was able to secure a letter from a bipartisan group of senators to urge the Trump Administration to better protect federal employees during the Corona virus pandemic.
NFFE has been aggressively expressing the concerns of federal employees as they try to fulfill their duties during these uncertain times. Many of these employees are on the front lines and therefore unable to fulfill their duties remotely, yet do not have access to the necessary Personal Protective Equipment.
Responding to the advocacy of these groups, Republican Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) joined 17 Democrats led by Senator Chris Van Hollen in crafting the letter.
The senators noted that although OPM has issued guidance suggesting agencies may issue hazard pay, that guidance by and large has not been utilized. The letter specifically asked OMB and OPM to:
- Use “existing authority” to begin issuing a 25% hazardous pay differential to employees whose work cannot be done remotely;
- Provide “further clarification” on other workplace flexibilities, like telework and weather and safety leave;
- Do more to ensure that federal employees have access to Personal Protective Equipment, and reimburse contractors for costs incurred from granting additional paid leave to their employees; and
- Work to improve labor-management relations.
NFFE and its partners will remain vigilant to ensure federal workers are protected and supported, especially during the uncertainty of the pandemic.
We want to take this opportunity to thank the senators who signed the letter and recognize the leadership of Senator Van Hollen.