Bill To Rehire Federal Retirees Faces Uphill Battle

 From Federal Times

A bill that would allow agencies to rehire retired employees won approval of a Senate committee last week. But, despite measures designed to appease unions, it still faces opposition from labor groups.

The bill would create a five-year pilot program allowing agencies to rehire retirees and pay them their full salary and their full annuity. Currently, personnel rules don’t allow retirees to collect their full salaries and annuities without special waivers from the Office of Personnel Management. The Senate bill would allow agencies to rehire retirees without having to get such waivers.

Although the bill, S 629, enjoys support from lawmakers of both parties, the Obama administration and several federal associations, its fate is uncertain because of opposition from federal unions. Unions fear that rehiring retirees — even on a temporary basis — will undermine the hiring of new employees and thwart promotions of current federal employees. read full story from Federal Times

USPS and APWU agreed to an MOU on the hiring of retirees during contract negotiations —but the MOU was nixed by OPM

The Memorandum of Understanding between USPS and APWU states:

Re: Retail Associate
The parties agree to convene a national task force to establish rules and procedures for the utilization of supplemental retail sales and associates. The Task Force will include consideration of a process by which the Union may provide lists of prospective workers to perform retail duties in locations identified by the parties. Such workers will not be a part of a supplemental workforce under Article 7. The meetings will begin no later than February 1, 2007 and will be concluded by May 1, 2007.

It is interesting to note that during negotiations for the contract extension in 2005, USPS and APWU explored the creation of Retail Sales Assistants “who would work in grocery stores, malls, and other venues that are easily accessible to the public. These positions would be reserved for retired postal employees, who would continue to draw their retirement annuities.”

“But union and management representatives were notified by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that such an arrangement could not be approved.”

OPM issued regulations to amend the criteria under which they may grant dual compensation (salary off-set) waivers on a case-by-case basis, or delegate waiver authority to agencies. The amended regulations would allow retired workers to return to the federal government without a paycut. OPM Proposes Rule Change to Re-Employ Retirees Without Pay Cut