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Civilian Employees: Some Matters That Matter

By Douglas J. Gillert
National Guard Bureau

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 1998 – Federal civilian employees probably will get a 3.6 percent average pay raise in January, but combined national and locality raises won't be finalized before Nov. 30, according to FEDweek, an on-line newsletter covering the federal work force.

The Office of Personnel Management will release new base and locality pay tables only after the White House says to do so.

Meanwhile, OPM has announced 1999 federal holidays:

  • Friday, Jan. 1 (New Year's Day 1999)
  • Monday, Jan. 18 (Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday)
  • Monday, Feb. 15 (Washington's birthday)
  • Monday, May 31 (Memorial Day)
  • Monday, July 5 (Independence Day)*
  • Monday, Sept. 6 (Labor Day)
  • Monday, Oct. 11 (Columbus Day)
  • Thursday, Nov. 11 (Veterans Day)
  • Thursday, Nov. 25 (Thanksgiving Day)
  • Friday, Dec. 24 (Christmas Day)*
  • Friday, Dec. 31 (New Year's Day 2000)*

* For pay and leave purposes for most federal employees, because the holidays occur on the weekend.

New Mileage Rates Federal employees using their personal vehicles for official travel can apply for reimbursement at the new rate of 32.5 cents per mile, up from 31 cents. Other new rates announced by the General Services Administration Sept. 8 include 26 cents a mile for motorcycles and 88 cents a mile for aircraft.

More Thrifty than Ever The next Thrift Savings Plan open season begins Nov. 15. More than 2 million federal and postal employees -- 86 percent of the work force -- currently have accounts, the highest participation ever. More than 194,000 Federal Employees Retirement System workers, however, still don't invest in the 401(K)-style plan, even though it is a key part of their retirement benefits.

More Veterans Given Hiring Preference The fiscal 1998 defense authorization act extended civil service hiring preference to veterans of military service in the Persian Gulf, Bosnia-Herzegovina and other areas of Eastern Europe. For more information about veterans preference and eligibility rules, visit OPM's "VetsInfo Guide" Web site at http://www.opm.gov/veterans/index.htm.

For more information about federal jobs and benefits, visit the OPM Web site at http://www.opm.gov. The FEDWeek newsletter is at http://www.fedweek.com. You also will find instructions there for receiving the free newsletter by electronic mail.

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