HR Headline Roundup for December 23-27, 2019

ACA ‘Cadillac Tax’ Repealed, HR Dive

The $1.4 trillion federal spending package for fiscal year 2020 includes the long-sought elimination of a pending 40 percent excise tax on employer-sponsored health plans with price tags of greater than $10,400 per year. Such benefits are among the principal issues in collective bargaining by public sector unions, and IPMA-HR has supported repeal of the tax that was put in place with adoption of the Affordable Care Act.

 

2020 Pay Raises for Feds Finalized, Government Executive

Starting Jan. 1, 2020, nearly all civilian employees of the U.S. federal government will receive a general pay raise of 2.6 percent. Locality pay adjustments have also increased by 0.5. percent for most positions. Updated pay tables and a new salary calculator are available from the Office of Personnel Management.

 

COMMENTARY: What Stands Between Young People and Local Government Jobs?, Route Fifty

Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene, who will soon begin contributing a quarterly column to HR News, conclude that “academic programs and governments officials need to find more ways to expose young millennials and members of Gen Z … to the idea that a government job is compatible with a passion for social justice and implementing positive change.” Ways to do this include offering job-shadowing opportunities and paid internships.

 

Virginia Beach Struggles to Staff Departments Impacted by May 31 Mass Shooting, Virginian-Pilot

Early retirements, indefinite leaves of absence due to post-traumatic stress and fears among potential hires leave several city departments short-staffed and falling behind on responding to residents’ demands for services. As reported by the newspaper, “On the day of the shooting, there were roughly 74 unfilled job openings in public works …. By mid-November, that figure jumped to 115 openings, a 55 percent increase. The trend in public utilities was even more extreme. On May 31, there were about 39 openings in that department. By Nov. 12, there were 66 openings, a 70 percent spike.”

 

2019: The Year Ransomware Targeted State and Local Governments, Government Technology

Baltimore, New Orleans and 22 Texas cities headline a long list of municipalities hit by cyberattacks and data thefts this past year. Dozens of hospital and health systems also faced ransomware and malware crises, prompting states to take tough emergency measures like mobilizing National Guard personnel.

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