Federal employee groups want to know why civilians can’t get the same raise as military members this year

In today's Federal Newscast, federal groups and unions are less than pleased with the White House's proposed 2% raise for civilian feds in 2025

  • The Pentagon is requesting $245 million to increase the income eligibility threshold for the basic needs allowance. It would allow service members and their families earning a household income of below 200% of the federal poverty level to participate in the program. The income threshold at which families become eligible for aid is currently set at 150%. This effort would allow service members and their families to not rely on programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.
  • The Defense Department is finalizing a rule which will make a threat information sharing program accessible to all contractors handling covered defense information. DoD will soon complete revisions to the eligibility criteria for the voluntary defense industrial base cybersecurity program. A new final rule will make the program’s information sharing capabilities available to all contractors handling covered defense information. It will also remove the requirement of obtaining a medium assurance certificate. Third party service providers are also able to participate in the program and contractors can authorize them to report incidents on their behalf. The rule will become effective on April 11.
  • The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is preparing to roll out major cybersecurity regulations. CISA’s 2025 budget request includes $116 million to carry out the Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act. The budget plans include more staff to handle the expected influx of reports from critical infrastructure organizations. CISA also needs to build a ticketing system, a customer relationship management tool, and an incident reporting application. CISA is expected to release the proposed cyber incident reporting rules later this month.
  • U.S. intelligence agencies are seeking more funding to bolster their activities next year. The fiscal 2025 national intelligence program budget request is $73.5 billion. That’s up from the $71.7 billion appropriated last year. Further details on the intel budget are classified. U.S. intelligence officials also testified on Capitol Hill this week about the most pressing threats facing the nation. They highlighted the technology competition with China and the emergence of disruptive technologies, including AI and biotechnology.
    (ODNI releases 2024 annual threat assessment of the U.S. intelligence community - Office of the Director of National Intelligence)
  • A policy change by the federal judiciary aims to make it harder for plaintiffs to pick the judges who will hear their cases when they sue state and federal agencies. In most federal district courts, cases are already randomly assigned to judges. But in a handful of districts, there’s only one judge assigned to a particular courthouse. That made it possible for attorneys to “shop” for judges who they thought would be friendly to their case. The new policy from the Judicial Conference of the United States effectively bars that practice for lawsuits against state and federal governments.
    (Conference Acts to Promote Random Case Assignment - Judicial Conference of the United States)
  • After months of negotiations, the Transportation Security Administration has reached a milestone agreement with its union. A new collective bargaining agreement covers everything from a grievance procedure and official time, to TSA uniforms. The American Federation of Government Employees ratified the new seven-year contract Monday. Union leaders say they're hopeful that the contract will yield better workforce retention, especially coupled with a recent pay raise for TSA workers got last July. The collective bargaining agreement now heads to TSA leaders for a final review and sign-off before implementation begins.
  • Federal groups and unions are less than pleased with the White House's proposed 2% raise for civilian feds in 2025. NARFE, the American Federation of Government Employees and the Federal Managers Association are among many who are pushing for a 4.5% raise instead. That's the amount the Biden administration included in its budget request for military members. Often, but not always, military and civilian government employees receive the same percentage added to their paychecks each year. The federal groups are now calling for a continuation of what they say is "tradition."
    (AFGE, FMA, NARFE Statements on White House proposed federal pay raise - American Federation of Government Employees)
  • A bipartisan bill in the House calls for stiffer penalties for criminals who attack letter carriers. Congressmen Brian Fitzpatrick and Greg Landsman are introducing the Protect Our Letter Carriers Act, in response to a surge in letter carrier robberies and assaults. The National Association of Letter Carriers says more than 2,000 such incidents have happened since 2020. NALC President Brian Renfroe says prosecution rate for these types of crimes is “alarmingly low.” And that sentencing guidelines give the U.S. Attorney’s Office discretion to push for lighter penalties, “If you’re the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and they prioritize what cases they want to prosecute, those who carry very light sentencing likely don’t get to the top of their list.”
  • Health insurance providers are lining up to offer plans to nearly 2 million Postal Service employees, retirees and their families. The Office of Personnel Management approved more than 30 program carriers to participate in the Postal Service Health Benefits program. OPM is creating the new postal-only marketplace, apart from the Federal Employees Health Benefits program. All postal enrollees in the FEHB will have to select a new plan in the PSHB during this year's open season.

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