NFFE-IAM on Verge of Winning Health Care for Temporary Federal Employees

The Office of Personnel Management recently proposed a new rule that would make temporary federal employees who work at least 90 days eligible for the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program.

After years of fighting for health benefits for all temporary federal employees, NFFE-IAM achieved an enormous victory when the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) recently proposed that temporary employees expected to work at least 90 days be eligible for the Federal Health Benefits (FEHB) Program.

The rule would include temporary, seasonal and intermittent employees who were left behind in 2012, when eligibility was extended to temporary wildland firefighters. NFFE-IAM orchestrated an advocacy campaign that led to a NBC Nightly News feature and OPM extending health coverage to the temporary firefighters, but maintained in its comments to OPM that coverage should be offered to all temporary federal workers working beyond 90 days.

Now OPM is proposing the very same rule NFFE-IAM championed two years ago, and has been fighting for since.

“This is a big victory for temporary employees, but our work is not done,” said NFFE National President William Dougan. “Many temporary employees find their access to permanent jobs blocked by nonsensical federal hiring regulations. We have been working for years and will continue to work for passage of the Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act, which would put qualifying temporary employees on equal footing with other federal employees with regard to competing for open permanent jobs by giving them access to merit promotion procedures. These dedicated employees deserve the same fair shot at advancing their careers as other employees, and we will continue to work to see that they get it.”

The public has until August 28, 2014 to submit comments to OPM. Click here to tell OPM that hard-working temporary federal employees deserve health insurance coverage.