Rules to help at layoff timeWASHINGTON -- Just before the...

Newswatch . . . on federal workers

December 27, 1991|By Kate McKenna | Kate McKenna,States News Service

Rules to help at layoff time

WASHINGTON -- Just before the holidays, the Office of Personnel Management announced final rules that could benefit many federal workers at a less-than-joyous time of the year: layoff time.

The rules allow employees to receive retention service credit for performance ratings received during a four-year period before an agency issues reduction-in-force notices -- as opposed to the current rules which base ratings on the three-year period.

Criteria determining which employees are vulnerable to reductions in force are based on tenure, longevity, veterans preference and service credit based on performance ratings.

The new system would better ensure that employees competing for positions under OPM's reduction-in-force regulations receive credit for three actual annual performance ratings.

In addition, these regulations require that the awarding of additional service credit for reduction-in-force purposes must be uniformly applied by an agency, be consistent with the agency's performance management system, and be documented in the agency's performance-appraisal system.

These final rules also make changes in how agencies document the performance ratings that are used for retention purposes, establish competitive areas that cover an Inspector General activity, and offer temporary positions under OPM's reduction-in-force regulations.

The rules can be adopted as early as Jan. 16, but will not bmandatory until 1993 to allow for a proper phasing-in period.

Big turnout for the kids:

Although the school won't be open until the New Year, the folks at the newest Social Security Administration child-care center in the Baltimore area thought they could round up more local luminaries if they dedicated the new facility before the holidays. And they were right.

The dedication of the newest "Social Secur-a-Kiddie" -- cominon Dec. 16 and therefore safely before most holiday vacation schedules -- attracted officials from far and wide to the SSA's main headquarters in Woodlawn.

Joining the usual well-wishers at what one official termed "one othe more popular events we've had in months" were Rep. Helen Delich Bentley, R-2nd, Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, D-3rd, and Rep. Kweise Mfume, D-7th, as well as both of the state's U.S. senators, Barbara Mikulski and Paul S. Sarbanes.

In addition, several federal, state and county officials were iattendance -- most notably Social Security Administrator Gwendolyn S. King.

"I believe very strongly, and I've said this frequently, that nemployee should have to choose between family and occupation," said King. "We need to make it possible for the men and women of this agency to pursue their careers and still ensure quality care for their families."

However, the main attraction was U.S. Health and HumaServices Secretary Louis H. Sullivan, who arrived at the "Social Secur-a-Kiddie" with his wife to inspect the center, which will serve more than 10,000 Social Security workers employed at the Woodlawn complex.

The center is designed for 110 children ranging in age from months to 5 years. Although there are some openings remaining, an SSA official predicted that those slots would probably be taken by the time the facility officially opens Jan. 6.

The center is the second such on-site facility; the first, at SSA'Metro-West complex in downtown Baltimore, opened in April.

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