Pensioners can help childrenWASHINGTON -- Sen. Bill...

Newswatch . . . on federal workers

June 19, 1991|By Kate McKenna | Kate McKenna,States News Service

WASHINGTON — Pensioners can help children

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Bill Bradley, D-N.J., is convinced that retired federal workers think it is better to give than to receive.

Bradley thinks that many of America's retired workers find that, between other income, private pensions and investments, they are in a position to give back some of the benefits they receive to help the country's needy children.

With this in mind, he has introduced legislation to help impoverished children nationwide -- through earnings from a fund that is completely dependent on donations from federal pensioners willing to hand over their benefits.

"Each year about $300 billion is expended at the federal level for retirement programs -- Social Security, railroad retirement, civil service and military retirement," says Bradley, a member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging.

"But only $5 billion is expended on the three most important programs aimed at improving the health and well-being of young children: Head Start, Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and the Maternal and Child Health Program," he says.

The Children's Security Trust Fund Act would establish a federal fund to expand high priority federal programs for needy kids. All receipts into the fund would consist of federal retirement benefits voluntarily contributed by retirees.

"If one-half of 1 percent of federal retirement benefits were given back to the fund, WIC, Head Start and the Maternal and Child Health Program could be expanded by about 30 percent," says Bradley, who adds that senior citizens could further help these programs by volunteering their time.

"We need to get back to the basics. We need to stick with what works," he says. "We also need to give people that want to help the means to do so. This bill can help give children the same sense of security that we have worked so hard to provide for our seniors."

After putting finishing touches on the project this month, the ++ Labor Department's Advisory Panel for the Dictionary of Occupational Titles will be releasing an updated version of its guide to the American workplace later on this year.

The most comprehensive single source of information about jobs in the United States, the Dictionary of Occupational Titles was last updated in 1977.

The first edition, issued in 1939, described 17,500 jobs in the United States. The most recent edition -- with a concise tally of jobs -- hones the list to 12,741 occupations.

Rating jobs by definition and by selected characteristics, the dictionary distinguishes between positions on the basis of vocational preparation, educational requirements and analysis of physical demands for each job -- ranging from "very heavy" or "heavy" to "light" to "sedentary."

The original Dictionary of Occupational Titles was developed in response to the needs of an expanding public employment service soon after establishment of the federal-state employment service system in the 1930s.

Jobs guaranteed:

Current employees of the Treasury Department's Bureau of Public Debt need not be concerned about losing their jobs when the bureau opens its new facility in West Virginia -- thanks to language recently included in a House appropriations bill.

About 700 Public Debt Bureau jobs will be relocated to Parkersburg, W.Va. But a measure introduced into the Treasury Department funding bill would guarantee jobs to employees choosing not to relocate.

These positions would be the G.S. grade, at the same salary level, under the bill.

Those who do choose to move would have their relocation costs paid, according to the bill, which mirrors similar provisions made to Justice Department workers also undergoing relocating.

Whistle-blowers protected:

Under a House bill passed last week, whistle-blowers in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and other federal banking agencies will be protected against management retaliation.

The legislation "takes a big legislative step toward closing the gaping hole in civil service safeguards for FDIC bank liquidators," according to Robert M. Tobias, president of the National Treasury Employees Union.

"It shows terrific support for the FDIC men and women performing in the field under tough, stressful conditions and sends a message to the agency that it will be held accountable," says Tobias, although he says that further legislation may be needed to give bank liquidators basic civil service protections.

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