Fedweek

Legislation (HR-1433) has been reintroduced in the House aimed at improving morale at DHS, which annually ranks near the bottom in those areas among agencies in the annual federal employee survey.

The bill was offered by Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chair of the Homeland Security Committee, which has set hearings on DHS workplace issues this week. It would require DHS to: develop a career path and create opportunities for leader development based on learning needs of both front-line and supervisory employees; develop a catalogue of career enhancement opportunities for employees such as rotational assignments; establish a committee on employee engagement including union representatives to recommend ways to improve engagement and morale, which are to be included in a department-wide action plan; and create new awards programs to recognize significant employee contributions to the department’s mission.

Also recently introduced were: proposals (HR-1316 and S-530) to reestablish the National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations, a partnership effort created by the Obama administration but eliminated by the Trump White House. Also set for reintroduction is a House bill to provide 12 weeks of paid parental leave—to replace the current entitlement to unpaid leave—for the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child.